From the AP: https://apnews.com/6c66de0a22944b58b276d43eef91c093
The suffering of the Venezuelan people is heartbreaking. But:
A) This is not a result of a failing socialist system but rather an economic strangling committed by the U.S. and the International community, who are in our pocket, through strong sanctions, and,
B) If Maduro lets in the U.S. aid, it would be seen as a gift from Guaido which would strengthen him immensely. And Guaido would be a U.S. puppet.
The only thing that should solve this is the delivery of aid by Russia or China. Where are they at?
A great report in the NYT on all the latest regarding Crimea, Russia, and the Ukraine.
It includes a great list of all those who have been sanctioned by the West in the Russian hierarchy and some noted Ukrainians, too. Must read
Also, today at my workplace, some of the right-wingers were saying that the reason Putin has all but annexed the Crimea is that no one fears Obama. What? Do they want him to start World War III?!
A good piece in the CSM on how sociological conditions and a new leader in Iran led to Western sanctions being more affective in bringing them to the bargaining table regarding their nuclear ambitions.
Also in the article, it is explained why the sanctions are working, for now, in Iran but did not in North Korea. Very interesting.
A new report came out of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) yesterday showing a slowdown in nuclear enrichment in Iran which may be due to recent talks regarding the lifting of economic sanctions there in return for the slowdown and future halting of bomb-making materials.
All a part of a larger plan to stop Iran’s nuclear capability, this program being ran by the Obama White House has been criticized by Israel, Republicans, and even some Democrats due to the addition of lifting some sanctions. But read below:
“Mr. Obama said an interim deal would halt Iran’s program; dilute its stockpile of highly enriched uranium, which can be quickly converted to weapons-grade fuel; and subject Iran’s facilities to more vigorous inspections. That would give both sides the breathing space to conduct talks on a comprehensive deal.
And if those talks fail, the president said, Congress can easily ramp up the sanctions again.”
As an article in The Post reports, Sec. of State John Kerry meets in Geneva to possibly freeze some of the most severe economic sanctions against Iran in an effort to stop uranium enrichment by the Middle Eastern state.
As the report says, and as usual, Netanyahu of Israel wants nothing to do with talks but rather wants what seems as military action against Iran despite not coming out at saying it directly.
But listen to what Kerry says:
“Let me just ask you simply: Are we better off not talking to them, and they continue to build the capacity, and then we have an automatic military confrontation?” Kerry said. “Or are we better off having a freeze where they are today and take the program backward so that you expand the amount of time before they could break out? Which way is safer? It’s very clear to me how you’re safer.”
An article in the NYT reports that everyday people in Iran have yet to fill the effects of the tough sanctions imposed upon Iran’s oil exports in an effort by the international community to stop their weapons-grade uranium enrichment efforts from continuing. The main thing to take away from this article is that, as I’ve written on before, sanctions often fail due to the fact that the leaders of these nations do not suffer the effects of sanctions, the people do. But the thing is in this report states that not even the people have yet to feel any real economic pain, much less the leaders. So the game goes on as enrichment efforts continue.
The Post reports that North Korea announced on state t.v. that the government will begin new nuclear tests in reaction to new U.N. sanctions sponsored by the United States. And in return, the U.S. and China plan for even tougher sanctions if the tests are undertaken.
This report has reinforced my view that much of the time sanctions imposed upon “rogue” nations, i.e., any country that does not bow to the alter of the U.S. and the U.N., does not usually work. Now I do recognize that sanctions against Iraq stopped their WMD production, but it did not give to a peoples’ revolution to overthrow the dictator. And look at Cuba, North Korea, and Iran. Sanctions there have had no affect on the leaders’ ambitions but have only harmed the peoples of those nations.
Please comment if you have any relevant opinions or if you disagree with me. This idea is new to me and I may be wrong.
Obama waives sanctions on countries that use child soldiers | The Cable.
The hypocrisy the United States government can show at times is appalling and this decision was no exception. The justification given for the countries being waived from these sanction is, at best, loosely understandable and really unacceptable no matter how we look at it from a moral perspective.
When it boils down to the real excuse for this action, it is simple: the military industrial complex. The U.S. military has become (and probably has been for a long time) the biggest export for the United States from an economic point of view. The likelihood this changes anytime in the near or even distant future is the same as the proverbial snowball’s chance in hell.
It should be noted that the sanctions did not go into effect until 2010 so only one party has had the chance to waive these. If we have a Republican in office next year, the result will be the same and the rhetorical justification will be the same. The actual justification is to use our military, whether it is through training, selling arms, or strategic interests, and to continue bloating that aspect of the government’s budget.
The U. S. government cannot claim to be an example of morality and freedom to the rest of the world while choosing policy decisions such as these. It is decisions like these that give people around the world a reason to hate us before they make the choice to attack us in whatever way they can. We should be better than this, yet are not.