US Congress Rejects Trump's Warmongering, Won't Support Military Intervention in Venezuela

Democratic chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee Eliot Engel made the comments at the opening of a hearing on Venezuela.

Congress will not support U.S. military intervention in Venezuela despite hints by President Donald Trump that such action had not been ruled out, the Democratic chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee said on Wednesday.

RELATED: Venezuela Confronts US-backed Right-wing Coup

"I do worry about the president's saber rattling, his hints that U.S. military intervention remains an option. I want to make clear to our witnesses and to anyone else watching: U.S. military intervention is not an option," U.S. Representative Eliot Engel said at the opening of a hearing the OPEC nation.

Under the U.S. Constitution, Congress has to approve foreign military action. Engel also warned about the possible effects on the Venezuelan people of U.S. sanctions on state oil company PDVSA. The United States in January imposed sanctions aimed at limiting President Nicolas Maduro's access to oil revenue.

"I appreciate the need to squeeze Maduro," Engel said. "But the White House must think through the potential repercussions that these sanctions could have on the Venezuelan people if Maduro does not leave office in the coming weeks."

Testifying at the hearing, Trump's pick to lead U.S. efforts on Venezuela, former U.S. diplomat and convicted war criminal Elliott Abrams, said Washington would keep up pressure on Maduro and his inner circle by "a variety of means."

"But we will also provide off-ramps to those who will do what is right for the Venezuelan people," he said.

Abrams drew intermittent protests at the start of the hearing. "You are a convicted criminal!" one man shouted before being escorted out of the room.

Abrams, assistant secretary of state during the administration of former U.S. President Ronald Reagan, was convicted in 1991 on two misdemeanor counts of withholding information from Congress during the Iran-Contra scandal. He was later pardoned by President George H.W. Bush.

The United States and its right-wing allies in Latin America have come out in support of a right-wing coup attempt against the Venezuelan government of socialist President Nicolas Maduro after they supported a decision by opposition lawmaker, named Juan Guaido, to declare himself an “interim president” of Venezuela on Jan. 23 in violation of the country’s constitution.

In return, Maduro has repeatedly called for the restoration of talks between his government and the opposition in order to maintain peace and avoid a U.S.-backed coup, or even military intervention by the United States in favor of removing him and placing an unelected right-wing government. 

Guiado and his allies Trump, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and his National Security advisor have so far responded to such calls by escalation and rejection of any dialogue. They continue to call for the military to intervene, while sources in the United States have revealed that Trump is “seriously considering” military intervention into Venezuela if Maduro does not step down.

To further the pressure, the United States imposed harsh economic sanction on the Venezuelan oil industry and its national oil company, while also blocking the bank accounts of the Venezuelan state in the United States, vowing to only remove such restrictions when Guiado achieves control of the state institutions.

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Trump and Friends: Exorcizing Satanics

The former republican candidate visited an evangelical church of Cleveland where he was the center of the attractive ritual on behalf of the shepherd of the congregation and the churchgoers gathered.

Two years and a few months later he has repeated the event again, but having this time the daughter of Hillary, Chelsea, as scapegoat because he had thanked out of courtesy, her words, a greeting from the Satan Church sent via Internet.

Chelsea’s unexpected act resonated in church circles again, with new calls to protect Trump from all evil, being the main voice of one of the Protestant churches, which are majority in the U.S.

In this panorama some have wondered that it’s possible that the different cults attributed to Satanism even have less reactionary thoughts than the head of the White House and the cabinet accompanying him.

Let’s not forget that a satanic sect, that committed racist crimes, crucifying and burning their victims at the stake, which still exist, the Ku Klux Klan (KKK) has been associated repeatedly to the Trump family and the President himself who has repeatedly used the influence and money of the faithful who proclaim themselves religious and promote white supremacy.

This entire campaign supporting Trump has intensified by a group that identifies itself with a Q in flags and sweaters, named QAnon which is defaming those who criticize the president, like the famous Tom Hanks, Steven Spielberg and Merrill Streep, as well as the U2 Irish singer, Bono who says that "the United States is the best idea of what has happened to the world, but Donald Trump it’s, potentially, the worst idea that happened to the country". During an interview to a CBS journalist, Charlie Rosen affirmed: It can destroy the United States."

As for the QAnon group, the idea of having the letter Q as symbol and sign of identity, is a very common MO. As referred researcher Daniel Keller, the strongest followers, fans of Trump even "have the magic construction of the cartoon or meme, which they defend that something can become true through mystic events; using the memes, or repeating a mantra, until it becomes truth."

“This is a continuation of the Nazi mysticism”, and he sentenced: "the III Reich already toyed with pagan European religions previous to Christianity."

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US ‘lost all sense of shame’ in handling Venezuelan crisis – Lavrov

Washington has no “sense of shame” in its response to the Venezuelan crisis, Russia’s foreign minister has said. He also lambasted the US-backed opposition for derailing talks with president Nicolas Maduro.

The latter signaled he is ready to have a face-to-face with his opponents in case they needed to be heard by the government, but the opposition chose to neglect the offer, “probably because they are guided by the US,” Sergey Lavrov commented on Tuesday.

American politicians “have lost all sense of shame when speaking of the way the situation in Venezuela should be dealt with,” he argued.While the remark by Russia’s top diplomat might sound over-emotional, various Washington officials indeed weren’t shy to suggest what should happen next to Venezuela. The Trump administration, for instance, continuously signaled that it was weighing up all actions against Venezuela, including military intervention.

In the meantime, Washington denied the mere possibility of talks with the Caracas government. As the State Department’s neocon appointee Elliott Abrams has put it, “the time for dialogue with Maduro has long passed.” In his view, Maduro could “manipulate” any negotiations to his advantage. 

At some point in the crisis, Washington also slapped sanctions on the state oil company, PDVSA, and its US subsidiary Citgo. Aside from that, the White House also promised $20 million in ‘humanitarian aid’ to the fledgling government of Juan Guaido, the self-proclaimed interim president of Venezuela. Notably, the UN and the International Red Cross (ICRC) have issued concerns that the US may misuse the delivery for own political goals.

“We will not be participating in what is, for us, not humanitarian aid,” Colombia’s ICRC spokesperson, Christoph Harnisch, said recently.

In a separate move, the opposition leader obtained access to Venezuelan assets held in US banks. On the political front, the US and European allies have been pressuring Maduro to set up a snap election, a demand that he rejected.

While resisting overwhelming Western pressure, Maduro has consistently said he believes in “dialogue and mutual understanding” between all Venezuelans. 

“[The] 21st century is a bad time for cannon fire and military intimidation,” he told RT in early February, adding, “it should be a century of dialogue, civilization, politics and respect [for] diversity.”

Meanwhile, nations such as Russia, China, Turkey, and Iran have thrown their weight behind Maduro, still recognizing him as the legitimate president and warning against foreign interference.

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‘A machine with no compassion’: Mexico’s former president on Trump’s divisive ‘f*** you’ politics

Mexico’s former president Vicente Fox has again lashed out at Donald Trump, decrying his divisive and confrontational approach to the whole world as ‘America is great, F*** the rest’ – even doubting the US president’s humanity.

“He doesn't seem to be a human being, he just looks like a machine, he doesn't have any compassion,” Fox told CNBC on Sunday, on the sidelines of the World Government Summit in Dubai.

In particular, Fox, who served as Mexico's president from 2000 to 2006, criticized Trump’s desire to build a wall of sorts between the two countries, stating that sowing division is the US President’s way-to-go with the entire world, as well as within his own country. If the US continues to pursue such policies it will be left with “nationalism, or a nation state that Trump is claiming, or walls to divide, or growing apart from the world and saying only America is great, and the rest, f*** you.”

Also on rt.com Trump adamant Mexico will still pay for his ‘Great Wall’ - eventually...

“That is the big, big problem of today, in the US, the divide. And when the leader is calling aggressive means for people, when the leader is not uniting, then you have this divide,” Fox stressed.

We don't need walls, we need bridges of understanding, bridges of sharing; that is exactly what must be done in the very immediate future

The former Mexican leader has repeatedly blasted Trump over his comments regarding Mexicans and harshly criticized the wall plans – especially Trump’s promises to make Mexico pay for it. Last April, he said that it was out of question, stating that his country would never pay “for that f***ing wall.” He also sported a T-shirt reading “Can't build a wall if your hands are too small,”referencing a popular meme about Trump.

Also on rt.com ‘Can’t build wall if hands are too small’: Mexico’s ex-president trolls Trump with T-shirt (PHOTO)...

At one point, Fox even went as far as to compare Trump to Hitler, noting similarities in their manner of speech. He also said that it’s not just Mexicans who are offended by Trump, and accused him of confrontational foreign policies that insult “everybody” while the US leader is fighting with the “entire world.”

 

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Talks Collapse on Border Deal as US Government Shutdown Looms

While a growing number of Republicans in Congress have made it clear they would not embrace another shutdown, White House budget director Mick Mulvaney said he could not rule it out.

Talks on border security funding collapsed after Democratic and Republican lawmakers clashed over immigrant detention policy as they worked to avert another U.S. government shutdown, a Republican senator said on Sunday.

“The talks are stalled right now,” Republican Senator Richard Shelby told “Fox News Sunday.” He said the impasse was over Democrats’ desire to cap the number of beds in detention facilities for people who enter the country illegally.

RELATED:  Trump Skips Deadline For Report on Khashoggi Murder, Will Not Impose Sanctions on Saudis

Efforts to resolve the dispute over border security funding extended into the weekend as a special congressional negotiating panel aimed to reach a deal by Monday, lawmakers and aides said.

Democratic Senator Jon Tester played down any breakdown in talks. “It is a negotiation. Negotiations seldom go smooth all the way through,” he told the Fox program. Tester, one of 17 negotiators, said he was hopeful a deal could be reached.

But Shelby put the chances of reaching a deal by Monday at 50-50. No further talks were scheduled, a source told Reuters on condition of anonymity.

The lawmakers hoped to have an agreement by Monday to allow time for the legislation to pass the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate and get signed by President Donald Trump by Friday, when funding for the Department of Homeland Security and other federal agencies expires.

Trump agreed on Jan. 25 to end a 35-day partial U.S. government shutdown without getting the $5.7 billion he had demanded from Congress for a wall along the border with Mexico, handing a political victory to Democrats.

Instead, a three-week spending deal was reached with congressional leaders to give lawmakers time to resolve their disagreements about how to address security along the border.

One sticking point has been the Democrats’ demand for funding fewer detention beds for people arrested by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents. Republicans want to increase the number as part of their drive to speed immigrant deportations.

Since he ran for president in 2016, Trump has pledged to stop the influx of undocumented immigrants by building a wall on the border and crack down on immigrants living in the United States illegally by aggressively conducting more deportations.

‘DESPERATELY NEEDED’

Democrats proposed lowering the cap on detention beds to 35,520 from the current 40,520 in return for giving Republicans some of the money they want for physical barriers, the source familiar with negotiations said.

But Democrats would create a limit within that cap of 16,500 beds at detention facilities for undocumented immigrants apprehended in the interior of the country. The remainder would be at border detention centers.

By having the interior cap, ICE agents would be forced to focus on arresting and deporting serious criminals, not law-abiding immigrants, a House Democratic aide said on Sunday.

Republicans balked at the Democrats’ sub-cap offer, the source said.

Trump weighed in Sunday, saying the Democratic proposal would protect felons. “They are offering very little money for the desperately needed Border Wall & now, out of the blue, want a cap on convicted violent felons to be held in detention!” Trump said on Twitter.

“Claims that this proposal would allow violent criminals to be released are false,” the Democratic aide said.

Republican Senator Lindsey Graham, who is close to Trump, warned against limiting beds. “Donald Trump is not going to sign any legislation that reduces the bed spaces. You can take that to the bank,” he said on Fox News’ “Sunday Morning Futures.”

Lawmakers working on a border deal also have not yet nailed down the amount of money to go for physical barriers along the southern U.S. border, the source said.

While a growing number of Republicans in Congress have made it clear they would not embrace another shutdown, White House budget director Mick Mulvaney said he could not rule it out.

“You absolutely cannot,” Mulvaney, who is also Trump’s acting chief of staff, told NBC’s “Meet the Press” on Sunday. “Is a shutdown entirely off the table? The answer is no.”

Lawmakers, however, were working to avoid it.

On Friday, some of the negotiators said that if Congress could not pass a border security bill by Friday, they would move to pass another stop-gap funding bill to avert a shutdown and allow more time to reach a border deal.

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'Twitter is his sword': EPIC Warhammer 40k Trump steals the show at Italian carnival (VIDEO)

Complete with a huge 'tweet-dashing' sword and 'golden' armor, a colossal float depicted US President Donald Trump as the grandiose Emperor from the Warhammer 40,000 series.

In all his might and glory, His Majesty the Emperor of Mankind descended on the small town of Viareggio in central Italy on Saturday. As part of an annual carnival procession, US President Donald Trump 'appeared' cosplaying the iconic character from the Warhammer 40,000 universe.

The popular franchise of tabletops, which also spurred several video games, typically depicts the Emperor as a walking epitome of epicness and unparalleled power. The colossal float of Trump conveyed the same message. Clad in shiny golden armor, he sported a grim, yet pompous and regal look in his eyes.

Italy has created a giant God Emperor Trump

In his hand he wielded a huge broadsword. The phrase 'your duties' in Italian, engraved on the blade, hinted that he slays his enemies as boldly as he slaps tariffs on EU goods. The weapon’s hilt was fitted with blue Twitter birds, apparently suggesting that the US president pulls no punches while attacking opponents on social media.

A human-sized ‘Trump’ was also seen marching ahead on the giant float, dressed as one of the Space Marines, the Emperor’s loyal troops.

The striking float left some commenters questioning whether it was meant to ridicule Trump or compliment him.

God Emperor! Twitter is his Sword.

Others poked fun at the scene, saying that the president may use the sword to combat ‘fake news’, and an army of such warriors would be “better than the wall.”

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Meet God Emperor Trump fighting in Italy 2019 Viareggio Carnival that is several stories high with American flags, Trump dancers Check out the size of him & those Twitter birds. They also made huge Moon Dream Trump for 50th anniversary of Apollo 11

 "Trump unveils his 2020 platform," one person wrote.

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Abrams, Sanders Respond to Trump's State of The Union Address

Democrats Bernie Sanders and Stacey Abrams were among those who voiced their issues with U.S. President Donald Trump's State of the Union Address.

U.S. President Donald Trump's State of the Union Address was more spectacle than spectacular Tuesday evening, and Democratic Party members Bernie Sanders and Stacey Abrams - among many, wasted little time in calling-out the president, on what ended-up being a factually incorrect address.

RELATED:  Trump Delivers Second State of the Union Address

After Trump addressed the fallout with Congress over his obsession with the construction of a wall to prevent the influx of Latin American migrants, Abrams became the first African-American woman to deliver a State of the Union response.

“Making their livelihoods a pawn for political games is a disgrace,” reported Vox. "The shutdown was a stunt engineered by the president of the United States, one that defied every tenet of fairness and abandoned not just our people but our values."

Calling the issue of immigration, "an urgent national crisis," Trump urged both the Democratic and Republican parties to reach a compromise by Feb.15 all the while insisting that he will build a wall.

"In the past, most of the people in this room voted for a wall, but the proper wall never got built. I will get it built." 

Abrams responded with a simple, yet powerful quote, "America is made stronger by the presence of immigrants – not walls."

While Abrams' comment may resonate with her fellow Americans, they know it was simply her opinion. Trump, however, made a series of statements that were either exaggerated, or plain false. 

After informing the crowd at the House of Representatives chamber in Washington that unemployment was at an all-time low, he considered the U.S. economy the "hottest" it's ever been. This was called into question by the New York Times, who included his quote that his administration had created 5.3 million jobs, and a statistic from The Bureau of Labor Statistics that since Trump's inaugaration in Jan.2017, only 4.9 million jobs had been created. 

Furthermore, The New York reported that, while the U.S. economy rose 3.5 percent in the third quarter of 2018, growth was stronger in China, Greece, India, Latvia, and Poland. 

Trump's justification for the implementation of a wall also came into question, when his comment about El Paso, Texas having one of the highest crime ratings in the U.S. were refuted by the same publication who pointed out that, "El Paso, the city had the second-lowest violent crime rate among more than 20 similarly sized cities. Since the fence went up, it held that place."

With Bernie Sanders in attendance, the Democratic favorite to run for the 2020 presidency looked-on in amusement when Trump denounced socialism as being built on, "government coercion, domination, and control." 

Building on that statement, he claimed the U.S. "will never be a socialist country," and that, "we (U.S.) are born free, and will stay free."

Sanders, himself a Democratic Socialist, frowned mildly - and later took to Twitter to voice his displeasure with Trump's assertion.

"Trump said tonight, “We are born free, and we will stay free. I say to Trump: People are not truly free when they can’t afford health care, prescription drugs, or a place to live. People are not free when they cannot retire with dignity or feed their families."

Trump said tonight, “We are born free, and we will stay free.” I say to Trump: People are not truly free when they can’t afford health care, prescription drugs, or a place to live. People are not free when they cannot retire with dignity or feed their families.

According to the Huffington Post, Senator Sanders had earlier - in 2015, described Democratic Socialism as, "a system of government that works for all and not just the very wealthy.”

Furthermore, Rep. for New York, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez - another Democratic Socialist, told MSNBC that, "Trump is scared," and attacked Democratic Socialism as he fears the popularity of her agenda.

"Every single policy proposal that we have adopted and presented to the American public has been overwhelmingly popular, even some with a majority of Republican voters supporting what we're talking about."

In what was arguably the most perverse moment of the evening, Trump supporters cheered when the U.S. President called on Congress to prohibit later-term abortion. What was even more shocking is that arguably the majority of those supporting Trump's plea were white men.

When Trump asked congress to prohibit late-term abortion and the ONLY people standing up & clapping were WHITE MEN, who have no business making decisions re: womens’ health...

Sanders himself hit-back; "Tonight, Trump repeated some of the most extreme anti-women attacks coming from the far right. At a time when we see an unprecedented and coordinated attack against a woman’s right to choose, we must fight to make sure that every woman has the right to control her own body."

Quoting Martin Luther King, Sanders wrapped up his rebuttal to the evening's proceedings, claiming "As Dr. Martin Luther King said in 1968, and I quote, 'This country has socialism for the rich, and rugged individual for the poor' What Dr. King said then was true, and it is true today, and it remains absolutely unacceptable."
 
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Donald Trump To Raise Border Wall Fight In State Of The Union Speech

WASHINGTON: US President Donald Trump is set to deliver a State of the Union speech challenging Democrats to approve funding for his long-sought border wall, but stopping short of declaring a national emergency over it, at least for now.

At 9 pm (0200 GMT Wednesday) before a joint session of Congress, Trump will likely stir contention with remarks on immigration policy, after his demand for $5.7 billion in wall funds triggered a historic 35-day partial government shutdown that more than half of Americans blamed him for, according to Reuters/Ipsos polling.

Millions of Americans were expected to be watching the address on television, giving Trump his biggest opportunity to date to explain why he believes a barrier is needed on the US southern border with Mexico. The speech was delayed for a week because of the shutdown that ended on January 25.

When he takes center stage in the chamber of the House of Representatives for the big speech, sitting behind him over his shoulder will be his main congressional adversary, Democrat Nancy Pelosi, who became House speaker after her party won control of the chamber in November's elections.

She has shown no sign of budging from her opposition to Trump's wall-funding demand. That has led Trump to contemplate declaring a national emergency, which he says would let him reallocate funding from elsewhere without congressional action.

But a source close to Trump said the president was not expected to take that step, which would likely draw a swift court challenge from Democrats. Instead he will urge a congressional committee to do a border security deal by February 15.

"He's going to set the stage," the source said. "He'll tell people: 'Here's why I should,' but say: 'I'm giving Congress another chance to act.'"

Trump's speech will also offer an olive branch to opponents as he looks toward the 2020 election, targeting areas he sees for potential bipartisan agreement, such as infrastructure improvements, lowering prescription drug costs and healthcare.

A senior administration official said Trump would "encourage Congress to reject the politics of resistance and retribution, and instead adopt a spirit of cooperation and compromise so we can achieve it."

But that message could be undermined with Trump threatening to go his own way on the wall if he cannot get Congress to approve the funding he wants. On Sunday, Trump tweeted: "If there is no Wall, there is no Security." He has said the wall, which he promised in his 2016 campaign, is needed to deter illegal immigration and drugs.

Some Republicans are urging Trump not to declare an emergency. "I'm for whatever works that prevents the level of dysfunction we've seen on full display here the last month, and also doesn't bring about a view on the president's part that he needs to declare a national emergency," Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell told reporters last week.

Foreign Policy

Trump will also address foreign policy, including support for an effort to coax Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro into leaving power, declaring the Islamic State militant group all but defeated, and perhaps announcing where he will next meet North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. He will also give an update on trade talks with the Chinese.

Trump, Vice President Mike Pence and White House acting Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney went over the speech on Monday night with about a dozen supporters including former campaign aides Corey Lewandowski and David Bossie, as well as Matt Schlapp, chairman of the American Conservative Union, a source familiar with the meeting said.

The source said Trump would discuss troop drawdowns in Syria and Afghanistan, and that about half the speech would be devoted to foreign policy.

Trump will also claim success on economic policy, including cutting federal regulations, the source said.

Some Democrats have invited guests to the speech to highlight various causes, some at odds with Trump's policies, making a raucous atmosphere possible inside the House chamber.

Representative Pramila Jayapal said on Monday she would invite climate scientist Lisa Graumlich, dean of the College of the Environment at the University of Washington, as her guest, to underscore the climate change issue.

"One thing you will see is that the chamber is full and the president is surrounded by women, by people of color, by individuals who have really been hurt by this president and many of the actions that he has taken," Jayapal said.

Republican strategist and former White House official Raj Shah said the speech offered Trump a chance to turn the page.

"Washington right now looks a little bit petty and a little bit small and the State of the Union is an opportunity to go big and talk in broad themes about what's good about America and look beyond some of the issues of the last few weeks," he said.

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