OAS: A HISTORY OF CRIMES AGAINST LATIN AMERICA

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF BRAZIL NEWS AGENCY 247)

 

US ambassador resigns, saying he can no longer work with Trump

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF CNN)

 

US ambassador resigns, saying he can no longer work with Trump

STORY HIGHLIGHTS

  • Feeley was a career diplomat who was sworn in as ambassador in January 2016
  • Deputy Chief of Mission Roxanne Cabral will step in until a new ambassador is nominated

Washington (CNN)The US ambassador to Panama has resigned over differences with the Trump administration.

A State Department spokesperson told CNN that Ambassador John Feeley “has informed the White House, the Department of State and the Government of Panama of his decision to retire for personal reasons, as of March 9 of this year.”
According to an excerpt of his resignation letter that was read to CNN, Feeley’s decision was clearly prompted by differences with the Trump administration but was made well before Thursday’s reporting about President Donald Trump’s “shithole” comments.
“As a junior foreign service officer, I signed an oath to serve faithfully the President and his administration in an apolitical fashion, even when I might not agree with certain policies. My instructors made clear that if I believed I could not do that, I would be honor bound to resign. That time has come,” Feeley wrote.
The letter goes on to say that he leaves the embassy “in good hands” and the US relationship with Panama is “strong.”
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Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs Steven Goldstein told CNN that Feeley had submitted his resignation letter to the White House in late December.
“Everyone has a line that they don’t want to cross and we respect that,” Goldstein said. “We are sorry to see him go.”
Feeley was a career diplomat who was sworn in as ambassador in January 2016.
The spokesperson said Deputy Chief of Mission Roxanne Cabral will step in until a new ambassador is confirmed.
Panama will join the dozens of countries that do not currently have Senate-confirmed US ambassadors in place, including key US allies like South Korea, Jordan and Saudi Arabia.
While senior acting officials hold the reins in these important jobs, they are not permanent appointees and are limited in how long they can hold the roles.
Federal law allows these temporary officeholders to stay in the open jobs for, at most, 300 days. But 320 days have elapsed since the start of the Trump administration and acting officials in the State Department are starting to hit that limit, making presidential nominations more important than ever.

Taiwan reacts defiantly as Panama switches diplomatic ties to China

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE WASHINGTON POST)

Taiwan reacts defiantly as Panama switches diplomatic ties to China

 (PANAMA’S GOVERNMENT STABS OLD FRIEND IN THE BACK TO GAIN AN EXTRA DOLLAR?)
June 13 at 12:31 PM
Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen reacted angrily Tuesday to Panama’s decision to shift diplomatic ties to China, insisting that Taipei will never bow down to threats and intimidation from Beijing and is determined to uphold its sovereignty.Panamanian President Juan Carlos Varela announced on television Monday evening that he was establishing diplomatic ties with China and breaking with Taiwan, saying he was “convinced this is the correct path for our country.” He added that China constituted 20 percent of the world’s population, has the second-biggest economy and is the second-biggest user of the Panama Canal.

The move comes as Beijing steps up efforts to isolate Taipei internationally since last year’s election of Tsai.

“The Government of the Republic of Panama recognizes that only one China exists in the world, the Government of the People’s Republic of China is the only legitimate government that represents all China, and Taiwan forms an inalienable part of Chinese territory,” a joint statement from China and Panama read.

Panama is the second country to break with Taiwan since Tsai’s election last year, following the small African islands of Sao Tome and Principe.

For the first time in eight years, Taiwan was not invited to the annual assembly of the World Health Organization last month. It was also excluded from a global forum of the International Civil Aviation Organization last year. Both moves reportedly came at the insistence of Beijing, which has made clear its displeasure with Tsai’s reluctance to explicitly endorse the idea that there is only one China, encompassing the mainland and the island of Taiwan.

China considers Taiwan to be part of its territory and insists that any country that establishes diplomatic relations with Beijing must cut them with Taipei. It says its relationship with Taipei is founded on the “1992 consensus” between the two sides that effectively rules out the idea of Taiwan ever gaining independence.

But that was a deal reached by a government run by the Kuomintang party in Taiwan, not Tsai’s Democratic Progressive Party, and while Tsai has indicated she respects the agreement and says she wants dialogue and friendly ties with Beijing, she has been reluctant to spell out an explicit endorsement.

In the past, China and Taiwan had competed to win diplomatic allies, wooing poorer countries with promises of aid and investment. But they established an unofficial truce under the Kuomintang government, with neither trying aggressively to upset the status quo, experts say.

Panama’s move decreases to 20 the number of countries formally recognizing Taiwan, most of them in Latin America and the Caribbean.

A former ambassador to China for Mexico, Jorge Guajardo, tweeted that he expected the Dominican Republic and Nicaragua to follow suit soon. “Big question is, will Vatican ditch Taiwan for Beijing?” he added.

Tsai addressed the Taiwanese people on Tuesday afternoon, vowing that Taipei will not engage in a “diplomatic bidding war,” nor succumb to Beijing’s threats.

“We are a sovereign country. This sovereignty cannot be challenged or traded,” she said, insisting that her people want peace but that Beijing is pushing relations toward confrontation.

“Coercion and threats will not bring the two sides together. Instead they will drive our two peoples apart,” she said. “On behalf of the 23 million people of Taiwan, I declare that we will never surrender to such intimidation.”

Bonnie Glaser, a senior adviser for Asia at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, said Taiwan’s international isolation is not in the interest of the United States or the rest of the world.

“Taiwan has a great deal to offer the international community, ranging from top-quality medical services to strong IT talent and active international NGOs that provide disaster relief to countries in need,” she said, adding that the United States and other countries should find “creative ways” to engage with Taiwan.

Nor are China’s pressure tactics doing anything to help it win hearts and minds in Taiwan, experts say.

“So far the tactic has only succeeded in alienating the Taiwanese public and reinforced notions of separateness,” said J. Michael Cole, a senior fellow at the University of Nottingham’s China Policy Institute and chief editor of the Taiwan Sentinel website.

“As long as such efforts do not substantially undermine Taiwan’s ability to function as a sovereign state — and no theft of a smallish diplomatic ally will ever achieve this — then I don’t see how or why the Taiwanese would give in to such pressure by deciding to accommodate Beijing,” he said.

A poll released by the Taiwanese government over the weekend showed nearly three-quarters of respondents rejected Beijing’s insistence on the one-China principle as a precondition to political ties. More than 80 percent said China’s efforts to limit Taiwan’s international space hurt their interests, and a similar proportion said China should recognize the existence of the “Republic of China,” as Taiwan officially calls itself.

Cole said Taiwan needs to focus more on developing healthy relations with unofficial allies that are democracies and important economies and not worry about maintaining official ties with small states that want infrastructure investment Taiwan cannot afford.

China commends Panama for establishing ties with China: Dropping All Ties With Taiwan

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF REUTERS NEWS AGENCY)

China commends Panama for establishing ties with China: Chinese state TV

China commended Panama for its decision to establish formal relations with Beijing, Chinese state television said on Tuesday.

Panama’s government said earlier that it pledged to end all relations or official contact with Taiwan, making it the latest country to break with the self-ruled island that Beijing says is a breakaway province.

(Reporting by Michael Martina; Editing by Michael Perry)

Former Panamanian Dictator Manuel Noriega Dead At 83

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF CNN)

(CNN) Manuel Noriega, the former Panamanian dictator and convicted drug trafficker who was once one of Central America’s most notorious military strong men, has died, according to a tweet by Panama’s President Juan Carlos Varela on his verified Twitter account.

Noriega, 83, had undergone surgery in a Panama City hospital on March 7 to remove a benign brain tumor. He was placed in a medically induced coma after suffering severe brain hemorrhaging during the surgery, his attorney told CNN affiliate TV Panama at the time.
Noriega, once on friendly terms with the United States because of his country’s location on the Panama Canal, became a US target as relations deteriorated. The United States invaded Panama in 1989 and Noriega was convicted of drug charges in 1991. He spent almost 20 years in US prisons before extradition to France and, ultimately, back to Panama.

Military man

Noriega was born on February 11, 1934, in Panama City, Panama. Abandoned by his parents at age 5, Noriega was raised by his aunt until he left to pursue a career in the military.
He began his career as a lieutenant in the Panama National Guard and quickly rose in rank. Noriega served as head of military intelligence to Gen. Omar Torrijos, who seized power in a military coup in 1968. Torrijos died in a plane crash in 1981, and Noriega emerged as his successor. In 1983 Noriega took command of the Panamanian Army and installed himself as Panama’s leader.
The country’s location was critical to the United States because of its location on the Panama Canal, a key strategic and economic waterway between the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. Due to this regional importance, the US had a vested interest in maintaining good relations with the Central American nation.
Despite the incentives to maintain these relations, the 1980s saw a breakdown between the two countries, with Washington cutting off economic and military assistance and freezing Panamanian government assets.

Noriega was the first foreign head of state to be convicted in a US court.

‘Trial of the century’

In 1989, Noriega was indicted in the United States on charges of racketeering, laundering drug money and drug trafficking. He was accused of having links to Colombian drug lord Pablo Escobar’s notorious Medellin cartel and, in the process, amassing a multimillion-dollar fortune.
Amid growing unrest in Panama, US President George H.W. Bush ordered the invasion of Panama — code named “Operation Just Cause” — in December 1989, saying Noriega’s rule posed a threat to US lives and property.
With more than 20,000 US troops on Panamanian soil, Noriega took refuge in the Vatican embassy in Panama City for 10 days, eventually surrendering to US Drug Enforcement Administration officials on January 3, 1990 after US troops had surrounded the compound with loudspeakers playing deafening rock music.
Noriega’s trial in 1991 was dubbed the drugs “trial of the century” by the US Drug Enforcement Administration and eventually saw him found guilty on eight counts and sentenced to 40 years in jail.

Noriega ruled Panama from 1983 to 1990.

Health crises

Noriega was the first foreign head of state to be convicted in a US court, and the trial also led to revelations that Noriega had been a paid CIA asset for many years.
“It’s wrong what people say — that you can buy him,” said Ambler Moss, the former US ambassador to Panama. “You can’t buy him, but you can sure as hell rent him.”
Noriega had since said his relationship with the United States soured when he refused to participate in anti-communist efforts spearheaded by the CIA in Central America during the 1980s The CIA has not commented on Noriega’s claims.
“You are a good person so long as you say yes. However, once you say no, then you become an evil guy,” Noriega recollected in a 1992 interview with CNN.
Noriega was granted prisoner of war status after his trial, and his sentence was later reduced to 30 years.

Noriega dealt with several health crises, including a possible stroke in 2012.

He was due for release on parole in 2007, but he was held pending a decision on a French extradition request — a Paris court had convicted Noriega in abstention in 1999 on charges that he had laundered $2.8 million in drug money by buying property in France.
As part of an extradition deal in April 2010 and signed by then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, France agreed to hold a new trial and to uphold Noriega’s prisoner of war status.
After his extradition to Panama from France in 2011, Noriega dealt with several health crises, including a possible stroke in 2012.

Noriega apologizes

While serving his sentence in Panama he sued Activision Blizzard, makers of the popular Call of Duty videogame series, after one edition featured a mission to capture him.
His portrayal “as a kidnapper, murderer and enemy of the state” in the game damaged his reputation, he alleged, and argued that he was entitled to a share of the game’s profits. A California judge dismissed the suit.
In 2015, he apologized to his country for the offenses of his regime and his own actions that led up to the 1989 US invasion, and his ouster.
Noriega is survived by his wife, Felicidad Sieiro and three daughters Sandra, Thays and Lorena.

Does President Putin Have Dreams Of Creating Russia Into The Proverbial 4th Reich

 

Today on the Google News that I use as my computer’s homepage I noticed an article about Russia retreating from the International Criminal Court (ICC) via the direction of President Putin. To be honest with you I was surprised to hear that they actually belonged to it. The reason I was surprised is because the United States does not belong to it and as far as I know, China doesn’t either. In my belief either every Nation on Earth should belong to it or no Nation should. For most of my adult lifetime (born in 1956) it has seemed that only African Nations and some Eastern European Nations have been accused under its jurisdiction. I am not a person that looks forward to a one World Nation situation even though I know it is coming. When the UN or the Hague speak of War Crimes a lot of us older folks think of Germany under Hitler yet they did not charge Japan’s Emperor Hirohito. We have used such Courts to convict and to hang ‘War Criminals’ like Saddam in Iraq and Generals in Serbia and deposed Presidential butchers throughout Africa but never a ‘Western-World’ Leader. So yes, I was surprised to hear that Russia was a consenting member of the ICC.

 

In the media here in the U.S. we have been hearing of ‘possible’ war crimes being committed in Syria by ISIS and other ‘Rebel’ groups as well as by the Government of Syria via their President Mr. Assad. We are also now hearing that ‘War Crimes’ may be being committed by the Russian Military under the leadership of President Putin. I guess this would be a real good reason for Mr. Putin to have Russia withdrawn from the umbrella of the ICC so that he and or his Generals cannot be arrested and brought before that court. Personally if I were him I would have done so a long time ago. Before any of my fellow Americans get all uppity with me on this issue you need to remember that we do not belong to the ICC either. If we did belong to it would former President George W. Bush, former VP Dick Cheney, and former Secretary of Defence Donald Rumsfeld  not have all swung from their gallows long ago for their actions in Iraq?

 

Now to the main issue of this article concerning President Putin. It is my own personal belief that the American Media, Hollywood, and our idiotic Politicians created President Putin. After the fall of the Berlin Wall in November of 1989 and the fall of the Soviet Union these three groups of idiots constantly belittled Russia in every form and medium. They portrayed the Russian people as backward, lazy and stupid. They trounced on them without mercy as a vanquished enemy instead of a future friend and Ally. These idiots gloated over, stomped on and spit all over the National Pride of the people of Russia without mercy. President Putin when he came to power started to rebuild the integrity of the Russian Country and their people. In my belief he was exactly what the people of Russia needed at that time. The Communists Russian Government fell in 1989 for many good reasons, among them was how horribly they treated their own citizens. If the ‘West’ had only made fun of the flaws of the Communist system and not of the Russian people, Mr. Putin would still be hiding in his closet bowing to his KGB Uniform in private. Mr. Putin should have helped bring in a new level of friendship with the people of the U.S. but how do you make yourself grow closer to someone who is laughing at and mocking your people? The answer is, you don’t.

 

President Putin is a very wise human being and he is a very strong Leader yet it would have been better for the World as a whole if he had only served his first two terms as their President then retired to a villa on the Baltic. 2008, Georgia, a chance for Mr. Putin to regain some National pride for the Russian people. Question for you, how do the Leaders of Countries usually do this? The answer is through their military, a huge Nation goes to war with a little Nation and squashes it. Just my opinion but the former President of Georgia was acting like an idiot by flaunting issue differences in Mr. Putin’s face and he got himself and his country spanked. American politicians have done the same kind of things before like with Cuba in the Spanish-American War, Granada, and Panama. Mr. Putin has restored the pride of the people of Russia yet at the same time it appears he has fallen back into his KGB mindset.

 

President Putin has taken total control of all aspects of Russian Society and when any leader/government does this it always means that the people of their Country lose their freedoms, their lively hoods and sometimes, their lives. President Putin is making some grave mistakes in his dealings with Iran though not so much with his dealings with President Assad in Syria. Even though Mr. Putin’s Mother was a Christian it seems that her knowledge was not passed down to him. Syria under Mr. Assad was much more secular even though it was obvious that he was by no means a Saint, Iran on the other hand is all about the Islamic religion, they are a total different mindset. In Syria Russia has had a major Naval Base for several decades, they were already allies. To not realise that Mr. Putin would step in to help secure his Ally was very short-sighted of Western Leaders. With the selling of 10 billion dollars worth of military equipment to Iran Mr. Putin is giving a ruthless murderer that is up against Russia’s underbelly the weapons that he will sooner or later turn against the Russian people.

 

In my online dictionary I looked up the word ‘Reich’ to make sure of its definition before I used it in this title. The dictionary said that the word ‘Reich’ is from “old High German”. This should not surprise many of us as we have grown up hearing of Hitler and Germany’s 3rd Reich. Hitler considered the First Reich to be the Roman Empire and the Second was under Mr. Bismark during the 1880’s. He did not consider the German Government during World War One to be a ‘Reich’ as he considered it to be weak and not worthy of the title. Then of course Hitler thought his Germany would last a thousand years, he was only wrong by about 990 years. As far as English usage is concerned the dictionary says there was only one ‘Reich’ and it was the Germany of 1871-1945. Here is where I am tying Mr. Putin into the word and the world of “Reich”. The definition of ‘Reich’ is (Empire, Realm, Nation). I believe that President Putin, in his mind, is trying to return to a system of Communism/Czarism. Mr. Putin has made it clear that he is not one who believes in Democracy or Capitalism, but he does believe in Communism and the policies of the old KGB. His actions have proven without a doubt that he has no intention of ever letting go of power in Russia. I am sure he does not want to be known by the German word Führer which means ‘Leader, to lead’ so, maybe, will Mr. Putin decide to someday proclaim himself to be Czar Putin so that he can disperse of the need for future phony elections all together? Remember, ‘Reich’, the Nation/Empire of the ‘New’ Soviet Union under the Realm or Leadership of Czar Putin? I’m just saying, is it possible?

American Jobs, Wal-Mart And China

 

American Jobs – Wal-Mart – China

As you probably know that in the media we’re hearing advertisements more and more about made in America products where companies and people pushing the made in the USA slogan. Yet still do you remember that the uniforms for our Olympic athletes were originally made in China instead of America? Eventually the fuss was made loud enough that new uniforms were made for them, here in America. There are companies here in America starving for orders (work) yet so many American corporations that are global conglomerates who will analyze everything down to the penny, and if they can literally save a few pennies on an order by having it made in China will not use the American workers, they instead buy products that are of no quality at all somewhere else, usually in China or India. By now do we Americans not know the level of trash for quality we get when we buy products made in China? Yet the big box stores (corporations) seem to only carry these garbage products at maximum prices. I know that a lot of people are just like me, we go into a store, like your local Wal-Mart and it seems that if you are going to buy anything there you are going to buy foreign-made products, not made in America products. I am a partly disabled Army vet who a couple of times year goes to the VA hospital in Johnson City TN. Even there it is most common if you are going to buy something like a hat or a shirt in their store and you check the tag to see where it was made the answer is usually China. It is frustrating to pick up a hat for example that says something like US Army veteran and have the tag say made in China. Our government is in my opinion traitors to the American workforce in other areas, even ones that are of the utmost importance of having quality like on American fighter jets. Just a few weeks ago on the news the American Secretary of Defense was defending his decision to order parts for Americas new F-34 fighter jets from China because they could get them cheaper there. These were unimportant parts I guess, they were only for the instrument panels and the landing gear.

Okay, now I am going to get more in focus on the title of this article, American jobs. I spent most of my adult life setting behind the wheel of a semi truck  crossing our country hundred of times. One of the things you notice when you are out there is how small town America is dying. Now I am not going to put all the blame on the huge corporations, we the people have some fault in our country’s demise, that is because if we refused to buy products unless they are made in America the corporations would have to buy from America. Every once in a while you will see billboards telling their population to buy from the local companies first because this is what stimulates their local workforce creating local jobs. This basic truth is the same on a national level, if we want to have jobs in this country, then buy only the products that are made here in the states first. A couple of months ago I wrote an article here on this blog titled (Wal-Mart grew through deceit, fraud, and lies) if you have a little time please check it out. If you are old enough you may remember how Wal-Mart used to always advertise how they only bought made in the USA products, that used to even be on the back door of the trailers for everyone to see out on America’s highways. Problem is, they were lying to all of us for the purpose of getting us to shop there and thus help the American workforce. I know very well that I was not the only driver who hauled loads from the shipping docks that we took to the Wal-Mart distribution centers around the country. It was a very common thing to be backed up to a loading dock to pick up a load going to them and the load would be staged there on the dock ready to go, but there was one hold up, we would end up having to wait for several hours while the dock workers changed all of the labeling from wherever it came from to tags saying made in the USA. Friends, to me that is lying, fraud and deceit, what do you think it should be called if not that?

Many years ago I hauled loads from the upper Midwest that were the guts of factories. These were cases where companies were closing up shop in places like Minnesota and Iowa and were moving their operations to states like Texas. The reasons were simple, cheaper labor cost. This was a way to eliminate the unions by moving to so-called Right To Work states. This term, in these states, in my opinion should be called the Right To Work Your Ass Off For As Little Pay And No Benefits As Possible Under The Law. Then came the NAFTA agreement under Bill Clinton’s watch. What it really did was to create jobs south of our border. Companies quit stopping at the Rio Grande River, they simply crossed it to a land with hardly any environmental laws and to countries with no minimum wage factors or unions. I guess that for a lot of the huge companies that wasn’t enough of  savings when they found out that in China and other countries in Southeast Asia you can get slave labor and child labor for wages like a dollar a day. There is one thing now that I want to bring to your attention, have you noticed that a company can close its factory in America because they say they can’t compete on the global market and they move their operations to a place like China so that their costs are lower. But have you noticed that the price of their products never go down any with their new savings? Companies want you to buy their new no quality products but don’t seem to notice that unemployed people have very small budgets.

The reason I am picking on Wal-Mart here in this article is mainly because they’re the biggest offender of this, what I call treason, toward the American people. Wal-Mart has had three large ships made recently, and I do mean large. The three ships are each larger than an American Aircraft Carrier, they each can carry a payload of thousands of semi trailer size containers. The three ships cost Wal-Mart almost five hundred million dollars. You read that correctly, almost half a billion dollars. This is a savvy move for them though, now they are able to save a lot of money on every trip from China to the west coast of America. Why did I word it that way, here is the simple answer, all three of these ships are too huge to be able to get through either the Suez or the Panama Canals. This makes it plain, they are meant for the purpose of hauling the cheapest possible Chinese products to their American stores. Just think about this issue for a moment please. On just one load on one ship, if those products were made here in the States, how many American jobs were lost on just one load? The Walton kids who own the company are all multi billionaires, yet do you see how little they give a damn about the people in this country that they want to sell this cheaply made no quality junk to?

If we the people want to have jobs then we as a people MUST avoid buying non made in America products. If our country had a real two or three percent unemployment rate my attitude would be different. By no means am I anti Chinese people, their government like our own seems to be extremely corrupt, I against all realistic hope, wish all people and governments were kind, honest, loving and fair, but I know that is just a fantasy, not reality. A person might think that I do not care about the working class people in places like China, but that is not the truth. I care a lot about their people, I wish them no harm. It is their government that needs the most changing I think, they have about 1.2 Billion people in their country. Their government should care about their own population first. There are many millions of people in their country who are living in hand to mouth squalor. If their country would turn inward first and build factories and create jobs and products for their goods it would help bring hundreds of millions of people into a more middle class urban level of living. This in turn brings in more tax revenue from within for their government so that they would not have to focus much on obtaining foreign currency. Once they do this then their own people will demand better quality products to be made. This would then help increase the quality of the products that they export so then people would quit calling their products garbage. I appreciate you taking of your time to read the post, I appreciate you, thank you.

David, earth planet , knopfler and a humble man

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