The United States of America and its Failed Democracy

Darío Machado Rodríguez

RESUMEN | May 16, 2023

That the history of the United States of America can be told by the common thread of violence is something few dispute. This characteristic of U.S. society is a constant threat to the country’s own citizens, but it also spills over its borders and is expressed in its foreign policy. Financing for violence, arms shipments, covert troops, open wars, unilateral sanctions, have made this a more insecure world in the name of U.S. national security.

Last Sunday, President Biden declared five days of national mourning for the victims of a mass shooting that took place on Saturday, May 6, in a shopping mall in Allen, Texas, in which 8 people were killed and the attacker, who fired indiscriminately with an assault rifle of which -according to data from the last 5 years- more than one and a half million have been sold in the country, was shot and killed. The shooting killed a five year old child, as confirmed by the President himself, who lamented that the greatest cause of death of children in the United States is precisely gun violence.

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International Diplomatic Rules Tested in Alex Saab Case

The Alex Saab case highlights changing international norms regarding diplomatic immunity, as the U.S. government has decided not to recognize his professed immunity, despite being designated a special envoy by the Venezuelan government.

L. Todd Wood

New Thinking | May 04, 2023

As war continues to rage in Ukraine and conflict in the Pacific cannot be ruled out, it is obvious that our geopolitical institutions are being tested. Many wise men have asked in recent years—where are the diplomats during times of war? The case of Alex Saab is a perfect example of changing international norms, as the U.S. government has made a decision not to recognize professed diplomatic immunity in the case.

Saab was designated a diplomatic special envoy by the Venezuelan government to travel to Iran to discuss a series of commercial transactions. While en route to Iran, his aircraft stopped for fuel in Cape Verde. There, Saab was detained and extradited to the United States to stand trial on one federal count. Many current and former members of diplomatic circles believe Saab was entitled to diplomatic immunity as a designated Venezuelan special envoy, no matter his lack of a diplomatic passport, the stop in a third-party country, or the commercial nature of his travel.

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Quarter of a billion people are facing acute hunger: Report

Key drivers of this crisis were economic shocks, conflicts & climate extremes


Down To Earth | May 03, 2023

The number of people facing acute food insecurity in 58 countries and territories in 2022 — 258 million —  was the highest in the seven-year history of the report. Representative photo: iStock. The number of people facing acute food insecurity in 58 countries and territories in 2022 — 258 million — was the highest in the seven-year history of the report. Representative photo: iStock.

The number of people experiencing acute hunger and requiring urgent food, nutrition and livelihood assistance increased to 258 million in 2022 from 193 million in 2021, a 34 per cent jump in just one year, according to a new report.

Besides, people in seven countries were on the brink of starvation, found the Global Report on Food Crisis, produced by the Food Security Information Network. The report was launched on May 2, 2023, by the Global Network Against Food Crisis — an international alliance of the United Nations, the European Union and other agencies working to tackle food crises.

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Unusually long La Niña displaced record number of people in 2022

In India, disasters were mostly weather-related and displaced 2.5 million people in 2022, according to the Global Report on Internal Displacement

Richard Mahapatra

Down To Earth | May 11, 2023

La Niña also caused the worst drought on record in Somalia, Ethiopia and Kenya, triggering 2.1 million movements. Photo: iStock La Niña also caused the worst drought on record in Somalia, Ethiopia and Kenya, triggering 2.1 million movements. Photo: iStock

The number of people displaced by disasters rose by 40 per cent in 2022 than 2021. The Global Report on Internal Displacement 2023 (GRID-2023), the Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre’s flagship annual report published May 11, 2023 said 32.6 million people were displaced due to disasters.

Of the total disaster displacement, 98 per cent were triggered by weather-related events like floods and storms. According to GRID-2023, “6 out of 10 disaster displacements were triggered by floods, suppressing storms for the first time since 2016.”

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Zelensky regime’s fate is sealed

M. K. Bhadrakumar

Indian Punchline | May 04, 2023

Moscow Kremlin

The West’s cryptic or mocking remarks doubting the Kremlin statement on the failed Ukrainian attempt to assassinate President Vladimir Putin do not detract from the fact that Moscow has no reason on earth to fabricate such a grave allegation that has prompted the scaling down of its Victory Day celebrations on May 9, which is a triumphal moment in all of Russian history, especially now when it is fighting off the recrudescence of Nazi ideology on Europe’s political landscape single-handedly all over again. 

The alacrity with which the US Secretary of State Antony Blinken debunked the Kremlin allegation, perhaps, gives the game away. It is in the neocon DNA to duck in such defining moments. That said, predictably, Blinken also distanced the Biden administration  from the Kremlin attack. 

Earlier, the chairman of Joints Chiefs of Staff General Marks Milley also did a similar thing in an interview with the Foreign Affairs magazine disowning in advance any responsibility for the upcoming Ukrainian “counteroffensive”. This is the Biden Administration’s new refrain — hear no evil, speak no evil. No more talk, either, of backing Kiev all the way “no matter what it takes” — as Biden used to say ad nauseam

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Cuba celebrates 62 years of socialism

Cuba celebrated today the 62nd anniversary of the proclamation of the socialist character of its Revolution, with a political-cultural event led by President Miguel Diaz-Canel.

Granma | April 17, 2023

Havana, Apr 16 (Prensa Latina) Cuba celebrated today the 62nd anniversary of the proclamation of the socialist character of its Revolution, with a political-cultural event led by President Miguel Diaz-Canel.
At the corner of 23rd and 12th, Havana, the place where the historic leader of the Revolution, Fidel Castro, made the declaration, Government and State officials, leaders of the Communist Party of Cuba (PCC), political and mass organizations members, and the population recalled the event that marked the ideological course of the project initiated on the island on January 1, 1959.

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US sees in Finland’s NATO accession encirclement of Russia

M. K. Bhadrakumar

Indian Punchline | April 06, 2023

Foreign minister Pekka Haavisto (L) hands over Finland’s NATO accession document to US secretary of state, Antony Blinken, as secretary-general Stoltenberg looks on, Brussels, 4 Apr 2023

The national flag of Finland was raised for the first time at the headquarters of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation in Brussels on Tuesday, which also marked the 74th anniversary of the western alliance. It signifies for Finland a historic abandonment of its policy of neutrality. 

Not even propagandistically, anyone can say Finland has encountered a security threat from Russia. This is an act of motiveless malignity toward Russia on the part of the NATO,  which of course invariably carries the imprimatur of the US, while being projected to the world audience as a sovereign choice by Finland against the backdrop of Russia’s intervention in Ukraine. 

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Why the Media Don’t Want to Know the Truth About the Nord Stream Blasts

Jonathan Cook

The Greanville Post | April 11, 2023

No one but the terminally naïve should be surprised that security services lie – and that they are all but certain to cover their tracks when they carry out operations that either violate domestic or international law or that would be near-universally rejected by their own populations.

Which is reason enough why anyone following the fallout from explosions last September that ripped holes in three of the four Nord Stream pipelines in the Baltic Sea supplying Russian gas to Europe should be wary of accepting anything Western agencies have to say on the matter.

In fact, the only thing that Western publics should trust is the consensus among “investigators” that the three simultaneous blasts deep underwater on the pipelines – a fourth charge apparently failed to detonate – were sabotage, not some freak coincidental accident.

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Common Sense, Not Conspiracy Theories, Accounts For Africans’ Embrace Of Russian Media

And China’s help to provide Africans with free TV, even in remote villages, is making a new life possible.

Andrew Korybko

The Greanville Post | April 15, 2023

Children watch TV in a village in Cote d’Ivoire. The Wan Cun Tong project cooperates with some 500 villages in Cote d’Ivoire. (Photo: Courtesy of StarTimes; see story in Appendix below)

The New York Times condescendingly implied that Africans lack the media literacy to discern the difference between fact and fiction in their latest piece about why they’re embracing Russian media. Titled “How Putin Became a Hero on African TV”, it pushes the conspiracy theory that there’s supposedly a shadowy Kremlin-concentric plot at play to explain this growing trend, which denies Africans any agency with respect to deciding for themselves which information products to consume.

It’s not difficult to figure out what’s going on as long as observers aren’t blinded by wishful thinking fantasies like those that continue to influence many Western commentators. It’s common sense that Africans would gravitate towards alternative sources of information to learn more about events across the world after rightly coming to suspect the US-led West’s Mainstream Media (MSM) of ulterior motives.

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