“It Can’t Be Illegal to Help a People”: The Persecution of Alex Saab

“It’s not a crime to fulfill a diplomatic mission. It’s not a crime to evade sanctions that are harming an entire country. It can’t be illegal to help a people.” Camilla Fabri Saab made these impassioned remarks when explaining the situation behind the illegal arrest and extradition – the kidnapping, in essence – of her husband, Venezuelan diplomat Alex Saab. Alex Saab is virtually unknown in the United States, where he is currently languishing in a Miami prison, but he has been vital to Venezuela’s ability to survive the brutal economic war being waged by the U.S. He is a political prisoner whose case has parallels to that of Julian Assange. Both have been subjected to extraterritorial reach by U.S. authorities, as neither are U.S. citizens, and their alleged crimes took place outside of the country. Assange is in jail for telling the truth. Saab is in jail for helping feed Venezuelans. Saab faces a charge of conspiracy to commit money laundering for his involvement in Venezuela’s housing program and was sanctioned by the Trump administration in 2019 for his work with Venezuela’s CLAP, a program that sends food and other necessities to Venezuelan families. Routinely referred to in the

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“Every Option Is on the Table”: US Prepping for Libya-Style Intervention in Ethiopia

ADDIS ABABA, ETHIOPIA – Amid a bloody civil conflict and increasing great-power competition between the United States and China, there are a number of alarming signs that Ethiopia will become the next Libya – an African nation where the U.S. intervenes militarily under the pretext of stopping an impending genocide. A considerable military buildup is now underway. Last week, the U.S. military announced it was sending over 1,000 National Guard members to nearby Djibouti. This is on top of the special operations forces already sent in November. Perhaps most notably, a government official told CNN that the aircraft carrier USS Essex – along with two other large amphibious vehicles – was steaming towards the Horn of Africa and standing by for further orders. For weeks, the drums of war have been growing louder in our nation’s media. “Ethiopia’s civil war is a problem U.S. troops can help solve,” Admiral James Stavridis, former supreme allied commander of NATO. wrote in Bloomberg and The Washington Post. “Sending peacekeepers to the pivotal nation of East Africa wouldn’t be popular domestically, but may be the only way to stop the conflict,” he added. Meanwhile, former Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Jendayi Frazer

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Diego Sequera Discusses the Underpinnings of Venezuelan Election and Huge Maduro/Socialist Victory

[embed]https://youtube.com/watch?v=yELzRi_SBe8[/embed] The United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV) is celebrating as, with almost all votes counted, they appear to have won 20 out of the country’s 23 states in Sunday’s regional “mega elections.” More than 70,000 candidates stood for one of 3,082 public positions, including local mayorships, councillors, regional legislators and state governors — the vast majority of candidates affiliated with opposition parties. The landslide victory was watched over by international observers from 55 countries, including a delegation from the European Union, who praised the organizational capacity of the National Electoral Council, effectively endorsing the proceedings. This will no doubt anger many in Washington, including those in the White House. Secretary of State Anthony Blinken described the vote as a “grossly skewed” contest controlled by a dictatorship that carries out, “arbitrary arrests and harassment of political and civil society actors, criminalization of opposition parties’ activities, bans on candidates across the political spectrum, manipulation of voter registration rolls, persistent media censorship, and other authoritarian tactics.” If this is indeed the case — that the Maduro administration is autocratic and repressive —  why did so many people still come out to support and vote for Maduro and the PSUV? Joining

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John McEvoy Exposes Britain’s Role in Suppressing Democracy at Home and Abroad

 The Watchdog podcast is dedicated to uncovering hidden truths and exposing the secret affairs of Western governments. One individual doing more than almost anyone in revealing the true nature of the British state and its affairs worldwide is journalist and academic John McEvoy. Today Lowkey and John discuss how the United Kingdom is playing a key role in upholding the established world order and doing the dirty work to suppress any challenges to it. In Venezuela, Britain is dedicated to supporting the U.S.’s sanctions regime against the country, responsible for more than 100,000 deaths already. McEvoy’s work has revealed the existence of a secret British “reconstruction unit” inside Venezuela — an organization dedicated to overthrowing the Maduro government and planning for a future Venezuela without him. The British government also ordered the Bank of England to freeze around $2 billion worth of gold belonging to the government of Venezuela, on the grounds that it no longer recognized Maduro, instead choosing the unelected Juan Guaidó as the country’s legitimate ruler. “Venezuela has been a key target of the hybrid war,” McEvoy explained to Lowkey. McEvoy’s academic work at the University of Liverpool focuses on Western interference in Latin

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Cubans Say They Are More Excited About School Reopening Than Regime Change

HAVANA — “If you build it, they will come,” said Kevin Costner in the Field of Dreams. In Cuba, they didn’t come. Dissidents on the island, with their U.S. backers, had been working feverishly for months to turn the unprecedented July 11 protests into a crescendo of government opposition on November 15. They built a formidable structure, with sophisticated social media (including an abundance of fake news), piles of cash from Cuban Americans and the U.S. government, and declarations of support from a bipartisan Congress and all the way up to the White House. Even after the Cuban government denied the protesters a permit on the grounds that they were part of a destabilization campaign led by the United States, anti-government forces insisted that they were undeterred and were ready to take the risks. But in the end, their Field of Dreams turned out to be an illusion. What happened? Intimidation of dissidents was certainly a key factor. The leader of the Facebook group Archipelago, Yunior Garcia, was kept under virtual house arrest. Other leaders were threatened with arrest and repudiated by their pro-revolution neighbors. But at the grassroots, I talked to Cubans who had second thoughts about the usefulness

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Syria Rebuilds Relations with Regional Foes Despite Ongoing US Opposition

[embed]https://youtube.com/watch?v=Ib5qNGLno3Y[/embed] Welcome to MintCast, the official MintPress News podcast featuring dissenting voices the establishment would rather silence. Today MintCast host Mnar Adley is joined by Vanessa Beeley, an independent investigative journalist and war correspondent based in Damascus, Syria. While the U.S. military occupies a third of Syria — mostly in the northeast, controlling Syria’s vast oil reserves and water supplies — Syria continues to rebuild after nearly a decade of destabilization efforts by the U.S. and its proxies, who have armed rebel groups with the intention of stoking a civil war and toppling President Bashar al-Assad. Today, the city of Daraa, which has been referred to as the cradle of the Syrian revolution, has been liberated by the Syrian Army. But, as MintPress reported nearly a decade ago, Daraa was the touchpaper lit by hardline Libyan mercenaries imported into Syria prior to 2011. These mercenaries were trained by the CIA and MI6, alongside Saudi intelligence, to hijack a small movement for economic reforms and turn it into an armed rebellion to fulfill foreign interests in the region. In this segment of MintCast, Beeley joins us to help get us up to speed with the war that

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The United States is Organizing a Color Revolution in Cuba for November 15

HAVANA — The United States government is playing a key role in organizing, promoting and amplifying upcoming nationwide protests in Cuba planned for November 15. When directly challenged at a press conference as to whether the United States is directly involved in the planning of the overthrow of the Cuban government, State Department spokesperson Ned Price refused to deny it, instead twice giving long statements about how much the U.S. supports the protests’ demands — responses that skeptical readers might consider tantamount to a “yes”. “The United States remains deeply committed to the Cuban people[‘s]…struggle to freely choose their leadership and their future,” Price added later in a press release. A week later, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs Juan Gonzalez went even further, announcing that the U.S. government would sanction Cuba if it attempted to interfere with the protests. “We are totally committed to supporting, maintaining and strengthening the voice of the Cuban people who want a change,” he added. Other American officials have been putting out a flurry of statements in support of the upcoming demonstrations. “The U.S. shares the vision of the Cuban people: democracy, prosperity, and human rights. We support their right to

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Biden Administration Is Undermining the Venezuela Dialogue

The talks between the Venezuelan government and the extreme-right wing opposition had been going well. There are still outstanding issues to be resolved, like ending the economic war, but the discussions held in Mexico led to concrete electoral developments. The European Union agreed to send an electoral observation mission. The United Nations decided to send a panel of electoral experts. (Both institutions refused to observe the 2018 presidential and 2020 legislative elections, despite invitations from the government.) Thousands of opposition candidates registered to run in the mega-elections, which include voting for governors and mayors, as regional and local legislators. It’s a good thing that agreements on the elections were reached quickly, because the Biden administration, following in the Trump administration’s footsteps, has been actively undermining the dialogue. To recap, in 2018, the U.S. threatened an oil embargo and said it would welcome a coup just days before a comprehensive agreement was about to be signed. Then, in 2019, the Trump administration imposed a “full economic embargo” right as talks were going on. Now, it’s the Biden administration’s turn to try to sabotage the talks, although they’re doing it in a much subtler way.   Alex Saab On October 16, the

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US Writes Belarus into Its Familiar Regime-Change Script

MINSK, BELARUS — Quietly, the U.S. national security state is turning up the heat on Belarus, hoping that the ex-Soviet country of 9 million will be the next casualty of its regime-change agenda. This sentiment was made clear in President Joe Biden’s recent speech at the United Nations General Assembly. Biden announced that the U.S. would pursue “relentless diplomacy” finding “new ways of lifting people up around the world, of renewing and defending democracy.” The 46th president was explicit in whom he meant by this: “The democratic world is everywhere. It lives in the anti-corruption activists, the human rights defenders, the journalists, the peace protestors on the frontlines of this struggle in Belarus, Burma, Syria, Cuba [and] Venezuela,” he said, putting Belarus first on the list of states in desperate need of a change in government. This builds on the back of previous statements the administration has released. In June, a joint announcement by the U.S., Canada, United Kingdom and the European Union essentially pronounced the death penalty on the Lukashenko government, in power since 1994. “We are committed to support the long-suppressed democratic aspirations of the people of Belarus and we stand together to impose costs on the regime

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Private Facebook Group that Organized the July Protests in Cuba Plans Bigger Ones Soon

HAVANA — After gaining access to their private Facebook group, MintPress can reveal that the people who sparked the July 11 protests in Cuba are planning similar actions for October and November. The group, La Villa del Humor, is widely credited with providing the initial spark that ignited nationwide protests on the Caribbean island in the summer, the most significant demonstrations since the 1990s. On July 10, one of the group’s administrators posted this message: Tired of not having electricity? Stubborn because they didn’t let you sleep for 3 days? Tired of putting up with the impudence of a government that doesn’t care about you? It is time to go out and demand. Do not criticize from home, let’s make ourselves heard. If we’re not going to do it, we’d better shut our mouths and not talk shit from home that doesn’t solve anything. Are we more afraid to go out than to put up with all this cheek? How is it possible? We demand that [Presidents Miguel Díaz-Canel and Raúl Castro] also have blackouts. We demand that, since we have no food, at least they let us sleep. Hit the streets. Down with the opportunistic communist government now. This

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Want Regime Change with Plausible Deniability? Call Creative Associates International

After organizing coups, overthrowing democratically-elected heads of state, and arming death squads all around the world in the 1960s and 1970s, it was clear that the CIA had an image problem. The Reagan administration, therefore, began constructing a network of outsourced private organizations that would do the dirty work of the U.S. empire, shielding the U.S. government from the prying eyes of investigators and journalists. “A lot of what we do today was done covertly 25 years ago by the CIA,” Allen Weinstein, co-founder of the National Endowment for Democracy, told The Washington Post. One of these groups is Creative Associates International, the subject of an in-depth MintPress News investigation by Senior Staff Writer Alan MacLeod. Alan joins MintCast host Mnar Muhawesh Adley today to discuss his findings. Creative Associates International (CAI) was founded by Bolivian ex-pat M. Charito Kruvant in 1979. Visiting the organization’s website, viewers are met with images of smiling African children being taught how to read and write, happy Latino farmers, and pictures of Asian women going to school. The image CAI projects of itself is that it is a progressive charity helping many of the world’s poorest and most vulnerable groups. And it does

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Creative Associates International (CAI): It’s Not Exactly the CIA, But Close Enough

CHEVY CHASE, MARYLAND — You have likely not heard of them, but Creative Associates International (CAI) is one of the largest and most powerful non-governmental organizations operating anywhere in the world. A pillar of soft U.S. power, the group has been an architect in privatizing the Iraqi education system, designed messenger apps meant to overthrow the government of Cuba, served as a front group for the infamous Blackwater mercenary force (now rebranded as Academi), and liaised with Contra death squads in Nicaragua. As such, it has functioned as “both as an instrument of foreign policy and as a manifestation of a broader imperial project,” in the words of Professor Kenneth Saltman of the University of Illinois, Chicago.   A G.O. posing as an N.G.O. An ordinary person arriving at Creative Associates’ website — festooned as it is with images of smiling African children, Asian kids being taught how to read and happy Latino farmers harvesting their fields — would likely conclude that the outfit is some sort of progressive non-profit charity tirelessly working to empower vulnerable people around the world. Yet subjecting the organization to a little more scrutiny, some red flags immediately begin to emerge. First is the indecipherable

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US lies to Security Council about Cuba and Venezuela

I have the honour to write to you in order to make reference to the accusations made by the delegation

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Worst. Putin Puppet. Ever.

AUTHOR: CAITLIN JOHNSTONE In what the BBC is unironically referring to as “a remarkable show of solidarity,” the US and more than

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How To Get Rid Of Paranoid Conspiracy Theorists

By Caitlin Johnstone, Rogue journalist. Bogan socialist. Anarcho-psychonaut. Guerilla poet. Utopia prepper Are you as sick and tired as I am

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