Thanks, close friends! Pompeo hails European allies for pinning blame on Tehran for Saudi oil attacks

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo heaped praise on America’s “close friends” – the UK, France, and Germany – after they toed the line and blamed Iran for the attacks on Saudi oil facilities – without providing any hard evidence.

Pompeo took to Twitter to thank the US allies in Europe for “their clear articulation of Iran’s sole responsibility” for what he called “the act of war against Saudi Arabia,” after the UK, France, and Germany, albeit belatedly, followed Washington’s lead and pinned the September 14 attacks on Saudi oil facilities on Tehran.

Pompeo, however, did not present any evidence to back his accusations. The incident and the subsequent blame game have resulted in soaring tensions in the region, with Tehran denying it was behind the attacks that briefly cut state oil giant Saudi Aramco’s daily output in half.

Earlier on Monday, the leaders of the three European powerhouses issued a joint statement, saying that there is “no other plausible explanation” than Iran being behind the attacks.

Also on rt.com Another ‘highly likely’: UK, France & Germany blame Iran for Saudi oil attack, without evidence or investigation...

Riyadh also sided with Washington, claiming that the weapons allegedly used by the rebels originated from Iran, and arguing that this proves Tehran’s key role in the assault.

Washington has used the attacks as a pretext for a massive military build-up at Iran’s doorstep, sending an Arleigh Burke-class destroyer armed with surface-to-air and Tomahawk cruise missiles to Saudi Arabia’s shores, and vowing to speed up the delivery of weapons and to send more troops to the Gulf to fend off “Iranian aggression.”

Also on rt.com US destroyer famous for ‘self-defense strikes’ on Yemen redeploys to Saudi coast as Pentagon prepares more purely defensive assets...

As tensions flared up, Tehran said it would fight back until “the full destruction of any aggressor,” promising to shoot down any drones violating the nation’s airspace.

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Truths and Lies of the Cuban Medical Missions

The campaign of Donald Trump's government against Cuba reached levels verging on absurdity.

Now, Washington accuses Havana of earning money by "exploiting" and "enslaving" the Cuban doctors who work abroad. Paradoxes of politics: those who invented labor exploitation and founded their country on the pillars of pro-slavery laws, accusing others of practicing their methods. Therefore, it’s unknown if the United States accuses Cuba for the exploitation as such, or for apparent plagiarism of its government system.

But, it’s neither one nor the other.

What really happens is that the Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, tweeted that they would reduce visas to Cuban officials related to the worldwide famous Cuban medical missions, on the grounds of the North American Law of Immigration and Nationality. Pompeo said that the Cuban President, Miguel Díaz-Canel Bermúdez, benefits with money by exploiting the professionals of the Cuban medicine.

Pompeo’s narrative begins from the exit of more than fourteen thousand professionals Cuban doctors from Brazil, after the arrival of Jair Bolsonaro. The United States affirms that Cuba keeps more than the 80% of the salaries dedicated to the doctors, on behalf of the countries benefitted with the missions. The Brazilian president blackmailed with the story that the Cuban medical mission could remain in Brazilian territory provided they gave its members 100% of the earnings and they equalize their studies with the norm of that country.

On top of that a demand on Miami courtrooms (of course, it had to be in Miami) of two supposed Cuban doctors against the Pan-American Health Organization (PAHO) accusing it of facilitating the creation of a "human traffic network" and "slavery" on behalf of the Cuban State. But PAHO – a branch of WHO -, it’s bewildered because this accusation was placed on the capital of Florida and not in Washington where the organization has its headquarters.

What lies in the background is the intention of using the system in motion by those against Cuba in that city dominated by senator Marco Rubio, to reply the accusations against the medical missions of Cuba, in harmony with the narrative of Donald Trump's government.


But, then does Cuba exploit its doctors? Do the Cuban government keeps more than half of their salary?

The first thing to be noticed is that the United States uses concepts like "exploitation" or "slavery" without really fully understanding their meaning.

For example, professional exploitation is, anywhere in the world, the promise of obtaining economic success studying an university majoring, paying hundreds of thousands of dollars in exchange, with the threat that, if you don't pay that money, the bank will keep your house and all your assets. That is a type of exploitation that suffer millions of young people in the United States who don’t have access to University because, it they do so, they would have to take two or three jobs with a lousy pay the bills. That, furthermore, is slavery.

In Cuba, anyone can study whatever they wish free of charge. All graduates from the School of Medical Sciences or from the Latin American School of Medicine had to starve in order to study in the best medical classrooms in the American continent.

How is this possible, being Cuba a poor country?

The answer is simple. Health services provided by the company Cuban Medical Services S.A., branch of the Ministry of Health, pay for the dreams of thousands.

Everybody knows that the Cuban medicine is quite prestigious, and that is because health in Cuba is seen as a right, and not as a commodity. For that reason for Mike Pompeo is really hard to believe that those Cuban doctors lend their services without expecting any profits. They are heroes in their country, and both them as their families have everything they need. The wealth they earn stays with them, with their relatives and to keep the dream of thousands of Cubans who support them, and hundreds of youngsters coming from third-world nations who study for free in Cuban universities.

On the other hand, in Mexico, the cost for a university diploma can reach up to a thousand monthly dollars. What about in the United States?…

But let’s Return to Cuba.

Cuba has kept for fifty years more than six hundred thousand medical missions in a hundred and sixty four countries, in which more than four hundred thousand health workers have collaborated. If two doctors recently occupy the anti-Cuban structure of Miami to try to throw dirt on the system that gave them school and healthcare, it’s not for free, but surely for some payment in return.

Cuban medical missions have fought the Ebola outbreak in Africa, the blindness in Latin America and the Caribbean; cholera in Haiti and twenty-six Groups of Specialized Doctors in Disasters and large outbreaks have been created to fight natural disasters in Pakistan, Mexico, Indonesia, Ecuador, Peru, Chile, Venezuela and so many others.

How much would it cost the United States to pay for that service?

Today, thousands of indigenous in the Brazilian Amazon die of curable illnesses due to the departure of Cuban doctors; of course, to those faraway places never want to go those who only study medicine to become millionaires with the medicines and the business of death.

Cuban medical missions have always gone to remote places and of difficult access; they are moved by a solidary calling and they would assist even the children of Trump and Bolsonaro.

Some similar happened to the Chilean ultra-conservative politician, Andrés Allamand, related to Cuba and its health system when his little son, of only four years old, suffered a neurological accident after falling in a pool:

"My wife and I receive a direct call from Fidel Castro where he offered us help in the treatment and recovery of our boy", said Allamand to the newspaper Cooperativa. The offer of help on behalf of the Cuban Commander in Chief "impressed me a lot."

The Chilean politician said: "The first time I spoke to him I told him that if he knew who I was, I told him that I was a leader from the opposition and he replied: 'I have everything absolutely clear and this has nothing to do with that' ".

Fidel "took my boy's recovery as something personal and he dedicated him some time for many years" (…) "My family and I have but the greatest human appreciation", said Allamand.

Hence, when in year 2003 Andrés' son Allamand died, the family decided "as a token of appreciation, to take his ashes to Cuba."

That is, of course, the true impression of the Cuban medicine. Not the one that wants to sell Pompeo, and the propaganda machine at his service.

‘We’re going to work towards that end’: Pompeo on inviting Russia back into G7

US State Secretary Mike Pompeo has said that the Trump administration, himself included, will make an effort to secure Russia’s return to the G7, as it is what US President Donald Trump thinks Washington should do.

Pompeo doubled down on Trump’s earlier statement that Russia, booted out of the cohort of the most industrialized nations over its reunification with Crimea and the Ukrainian turmoil, should be invited to the group’s next meeting in an interview on Tuesday. Asked if Russia should be invited back so the group can become the G8 once again, Pompeo said: “Yeah, the President thinks so.”

However, when asked if he agrees with his boss’s stance on the issue, Pompeo dodged the question, merely stating that he would be pursuing that goal as well.

The President thinks that’s what we should do. I work for the President. Of course, we’re going to work towards that end.

While Pompeo fell short of explicitly agreeing with Trump’s Russia policy, despite being his country’s top diplomat and thus the man in charge of implementing it, he still reaffirmed Trump’s interest in seeing Russia return to the club.

The US president has repeatedly spoken about the need to readmit Russia. As the G7 summit in Biarritz, France wrapped up on Monday, Trump tentatively invited Russian President Vladimir Putin to the next year’s G7 meet-up hosted by the US.

Saying that he would “certainly” invite the Russia leader and “it would have been easy” if Russia had been represented during many of the roundtables, Trump noted that Putin, as “a proud person,” might as well not accept the invite.

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It was not the first time Trump has floated the idea, and he has not been the only one warning of the dangers of alienating Russia from the West. The host of the recent meeting, French President Emmanuel Macron, called the idea of pushing Russia away from Europe a “strategic mistake,” arguing that this ill-conceived approach would pave the way for a potentially menacing alliance between Russia and China.

Calls for rapprochement with Russia, however, have been lost on European Council president Donald Tusk. Tusk, never a fan of Moscow, said that while having Russia might be useful from a practical standpoint, inviting Ukraine would be “a better option.”

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Pompeo "ignorant" of Cuba's history, says Cuban president

Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canel has blamed Washington's misguided foreign policy toward Cuba on ignorance.

Recent comments and proposals by U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo show he is "ignorant" of Cuba's history, Diaz-Canel said via Twitter.

"Pompeo, ignorant of the history and principles of the Cuban Revolution, proposes negotiating a reconciliation in exchange for abandoning the path chosen by our people, suggests betraying our friends and denying 60 years of dignity," said Diaz-Canel.

Pompeo recently said that free and fair elections in Venezuela would not be possible as long as Cuba continued to support President Nicolas Maduro.

He also accused Cuba of controlling Venezuela's political elite, army and intelligence services.

His statements have been widely condemned by senior Cuban officials who have demanded Washington present evidence of Cuba's alleged military presence in Venezuela.

The unsubstantiated claims were followed by sanctions against Cuban officials involved in the island's program of medical diplomacy.

According to Pompeo, Cuban doctors are forced to participate in the program, working long hours in sometimes dangerous areas to advance what he called the Cuban government's "political agenda."

On Wednesday, Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez criticized Pompeo's statements and qualified them as "cynical, demagogic and lies."

"He can no longer hide the true purposes of the U.S. policy that intends to starve our people and cause destabilization and regime change. There is an evident gap between what they say and what they do," Rodriguez said via Twitter.

Cuba-U.S. relations have deteriorated under U.S. President Donald Trump, whose administration has reversed the normalization of ties spearheaded by his predecessor Barack Obama.

‘We’ll do what’s in our national interest’: Indian FM to Pompeo on buying S-400s from Russia

India’s foreign minister said New Delhi will have nothing but its own interests in mind, when following on the deal to purchase S-400 air defense missile systems from Moscow, the deal the US is strongly opposed to.

Subrahmanyam Jaishankar made his comments while responding to a question about the S-400 at a presser with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo during his visit to New Delhi.

We have relationships with several countries, many of which are of some standing. They have a history. We will do what is in our national interest.

Earlier reports said that India planned a push to convince Pompeo to grant New Delhi a waiver on purchasing the S-400s without the risk of violating the US sanctions, placed on Moscow. Without the waiver, India may be targeted under the 2017 US law, known as CAATSA (Countering America's Adversaries Through Sanctions Act ), which bans doing certain types of business with Russia.

Also on rt.com India to ‘make clear’ to US that S-400 deal with Moscow ‘can’t be wished away’ – report...

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Vladimir Putin signed the $5 billion defense contract in October. US officials tried to dissuade India from acquiring the state-of-the-art Russian missile defense systems, warning that buying weapons from Moscow can impact future arms deals with Washington. The Pentagon also promised to offer India “potential alternatives” to the S-400s.

India, however, has always maintained that the deal with Russia is of strategic importance, and highlighted the long history of successful defense partnership the nations share.

Also on rt.com Allies or frenemies? Pompeo lands in India with a bag of ‘freedom’ offers one doesn’t simply refuse...

Mike Pompeo, for his part, hailed US-India relations, adding that “great friends are bound to have differences.”

India is not the only country Washington has tried to discourage from purchasing the S-400s from Russia in recent years. The US tried to make its NATO ally Turkey scrap a similar deal but Ankara refused.

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US to Weigh Sending New Military Forces to Middle East

The possible deployment of more US military forces and means in the Middle East will be analyzed by the national security team of President Donald Trump, according to government officials.

The evaluation will be made after attacks on two oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman on June 13, but it is not clear when a decision will be made and the president will be informed, said the sources, quoted by CNN.

They pointed out that the debates will focus on the objectives of détente and defense against which Washington considers an Iranian attack, and the specific forces necessary to fulfill those goals.

In that regard, they mentioned additional soldiers, Patriot missiles, fighters and ships for several purposes.

On Sunday, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo blamed Iran of attacking the ships, accusations that were rejected by Tehran.

The tankers Kokuka Courageous and Front Altair, operated by a Japanese company and owned by a Norwegian shipping firm, respectively, were hit by explosive devices as they left the Straight of Ormuz, some 50 kilometers off Iran's shores.

Pompeo said in an interview with Fox TV on Sunday that the United States would guarantee the free circulation of ships in that zone.

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Pompeo says US tried & failed to unite Venezuelan opposition in leaked audio

A leaked audio of Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has reportedly exposed the US effort to unite the Venezuelan opposition, whose top figures are apparently too absorbed in power games to become the next US-approved president.

Venezuelan opposition leaders are lining up in droves to pick up the mantle of presidency once Nicolas Maduro is ousted with Washington's help – and the US is struggling to get them to work together, the Washington Post reported citing a leaked audio. The recording was allegedly made during Pompeo's meeting with Jewish leaders last week.

Also on rt.com US military action in Venezuela ‘possible if that’s what’s required’ – Pompeo...

The effort to cobble together a united front against Maduro is not a thing of "these past months," according to Pompeo. It has been ongoing since he became CIA director, just after Donald Trump's swearing-in as president.

"Since the day I became CIA director, that was something that was at the center of what President Donald Trump was trying to do," he said.

The task "has proven devilishly difficult" though, as everybody in the opposition camp is after their own interests and wants to fight over the spoils rather than focus on the common cause of a coup.

"The moment Maduro leaves, everybody's going to raise their hands and [say], "Take me, I'm the next president of Venezuela.' It would be forty-plus people who believe they're the rightful heir to Maduro," Pompeo reportedly said in the audio.

READ MORE: Pompeo says US intel only OCCASIONALLY ‘gets things wrong’, after bragging about ‘lying’ CIA

In an attempt to force Washington's various stooges to team up, Pompeo sought to enlist help from religious organizations.

"We were trying to support various religious... institutions to get the opposition to come together," he said.

Pompeo blamed the disarray among the opposition for the failure of the April 30 coup attempt by a group of soldiers, which fizzled out within 24 hours.

He maintained that Maduro is overwhelmingly under the influence of foreign backers, mainly Cuba – an idea often repeated by Washington and recently used to put more sanctions on Havana. Venezuelans don't like Maduro, but are looking out for themselves instead of working towards Washington's goals, he complained.

"He [Maduro] doesn't trust Venezuelans a lick. I don't blame him. He shouldn't. They were all plotting against him. Sadly, they were all plotting for themselves."

While the US says that all options, including military, are on the table in Venezuela and pushes the crisis-hit Latin American country further into destitution with crippling economic sanctions, the opposition and the Maduro government are making tentative attempts at dialogue. Late last month, a second round of talks between representatives of self-declared 'interim president' Juan Guaido and Maduro was held in Oslo, but ended without any deal.

  • Published in World

Pompeo says US intel only OCCASIONALLY ‘gets things wrong’, after bragging about ‘lying’ CIA

US intelligence agencies occasionally make mistakes but should still be trusted and taken at their word, according to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who once famously boasted that the CIA “lies, cheats and steals.”

In an interview with Euronews, the former CIA chief insisted that US intelligence agencies are right to consider Chinese telecom giant Huawei a national security threat – a claim that has been disputed by Washington’s European allies.

There’s no doubt the intelligence community gets things wrong from time to time but their overall body of work is excellent and to be relied upon and trusted.

He bragged further that "Western countries, liberal democracies share a common value set. The Chinese don’t share that value set.”

While the US insists Huawei products contain “backdoors” which can be used to spy on behalf of the Chinese government, no proof of the alleged snooping operation has yet been produced. Unconvinced by the unsupported claims, some of Washington’s closest allies have rejected US pressure to end cooperation with the Chinese firm. Germany, for example, announced in March that it would not prevent Huawei from bidding on contracts to develop the country’s 5G networks.

Also on rt.com Germany won’t ban Huawei & ready to oppose US pressure – economy minister...

Berlin and others are right to be weary of Washington’s evidence-scarce accusations against Huawei. In just the last two decades, US intelligence agencies have been repeatedly accused of misleading and lying to the American public and the international community.

Their less than stellar track record includes providing dubious intelligence about Saddam Hussein’s non-existent weapons of mass destruction program, and runs right up to the current day.

Also on rt.com ‘We lied, we cheated, we stole’: Pompeo offers honest, if disturbing admission about CIA activity...

Anonymous sources in the intelligence agency were repeatedly cited by the media to push now-debunked Russiagate. Former CIA Director John Brennan even predicted that there would be big-name indictments before the release of Robert Mueller’s deflating report. When the indictments never came, Brennan suggested that he “may have received bad information.”

Pompeo himself has seemingly contradicted his own assertion that America’s spooks should be trusted. In April, he bragged about how the CIA “lied, cheated and stole” during his time at the agency.

  • Published in World
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