Evo Morales says the Bolivian people will prevail against U.S. and Israeli-backed coup

Mexico City, December 2 (RHC)-- From exile in Mexico City, Evo Morales has said that the Bolivian people will continue their fight against an American and Israeli backed military coup in the country and ultimately prevail.

The coup government, "assisted by Israel and the U.S., will prepare itself [to stifle resistance], but when a nation rises, no system can stop it, like the Bolivian nation which has risen in quest for truth, unity and freedom,” Morales said during an exclusive interview with Iran’s Spanish-language television channel HispanTV.

Morales was forced to resign on November 10th under pressure from the country's armed forces after the US-backed opposition there rejected the October election results.  He was granted asylum in Mexico.

Evo Morales has described his ouster as a coup and said there is evidence that Washington orchestrated it.  The former Bolivian also says that the United States opposes his return to Bolivia.

Earlier this week, Bolivia's self-proclaimed interim president, Jeanine Anez, signed a law preventing Morales from participating in a new election, which is expected to be held in upcoming months.  Interior Minister Arturo Murillo has hinted that the self-appointed government may seek to imprison Evo, accusing him -- without any evidence -- of terrorism and sedition.

Speaking to HispanTV, however, Evo Morales explained that his “biggest crime was returning hope to the Bolivian people,” as his economic policies had benefited the Bolivian people to the detriment of certain political and business figures.  “Be sure that under the orders of Washington, the right-wing party will not allow me to return,” he said, adding that “my crime is defending the oppressed, the workers and the indigenous peoples.”

“This is why I fear nothing and if anything happens to me or if I am arrested while returning [to Bolivia], the main culprit is the fascist right which carried out the coup, and secondly the United States,” he said.

Promising a strong movement against the coup government and stressing his right to participate in new elections, Morales did not specify if he would ultimately run for office or return to Bolivia in the near future.  “With Evo or without Evo, we will guarantee the freedom of the Bolivian people,” he said, calling on all “idigenous, workers and everyone to be alert and try to regain political power” in order to protect the “interests of the nation.”

Morales vowed that the Bolivian nation will unite almost unanimously against the “self-appointed government” in the near future once it starts implementing its “neoliberal’ economic policies which are “dictated from abroad.”   During the interview, Evo sent his “regards to all truth seekers within the international community" and "compatriots who are fighting for democracy.”

Edited by Ed Newman

  • Published in World

‘Cross our red lines & be destroyed’: Iran’s elite IRGC chief warns US, Israel and Saudi Arabia at large pro-govt rally

All external foes will be defeated if they make moves against Iran, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) commander warned at a massive pro-government rally amid protests over fuel price hikes.

Major General Hossein Salami addressed people in downtown Tehran on Monday. He said that the country’s rivals are “no longer capable of anything” in their attacks against the nation.

We have shown patience towards the hostile moves of America, the Zionist regime [Israel] and Saudi Arabia against the Islamic Republic of Iran... but we will destroy them if they cross our red lines.

Thousands have marched on the streets of the country’s capital and gathered on the Enqelan Square (Revolution Square). Calling themselves the ‘Supporters of the Leadership’, the demonstrators waved national flags, carried placards and chanted slogans in support for the Supreme Leader Ali Khanemei and the current government. Some were also seen burning American flags.

The rally is meant to denounce “anyone who wants to create insecurity in the country,” one demonstrator told the state-run IRNA news agency.

Foreign Ministry spokesperson Abbas Mousavi said that the demonstration allows the foreign states “to see who the real people in Iran are and what they are saying.”

Iran has been hit by protests in various parts of the country after the government, which is under pressure from US sanctions, began to ration fuel and approved a hike on fuel prices, in hope that the additional revenue could be used for subsidies to poor families.

Amid peaceful demonstrations, some angry mobs also torched banks and department stores, as well as attacked police stations, killing several officers. The authorities said that there were dead and injured among the protesters as well.

Also on rt.com ‘Foreign-trained’ dual nationals among those arrested for stirring up violent fuel price riots – Iranian semi-official news agency...

Tehran claimed that “anarchists” and US-backed “mercenaries” were behind the rioting. US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo voiced his support for the anti-government protesters. Rallies in solidarity with them were held in several North American and European cities.

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U.N. investigator says expectations low for Trump's peace plan

Expectations for the success of the Trump administration’s peace plan to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict appear to be very low, UN special investigator Michael Lynk told reporters at the United Nations in New York ahead of US special envoy Jared Kushner and his assistant Avi Berkowitz.

Kushner, who has taken the lead on the Trump peace plan, is expected to meet with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Blue and White Party head Benny Gantz to discuss the plan. Kushner’s assistant, Avi Berkowitz, is expected to join as well.
No date has been set for the release of the political component of the plan, but it is presumed that it would only be published after the formation of a government.

“There seems to be a very low expectation that [the peace plan] would have much meaningful impact on the ground, if and when it ever winds up getting released,” said Lynk, who is the UN’s special rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories.

He spoke with reporters on Thursday about the plan as part of a press conference he gave about the failure of the international community to hold Israel accountable for its continued “occupation” of the West Bank. Right-wing Israelis hold that Area C of the West Bank, and certainly the settlements located there, should be annexed to Israel. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has said he would annex the settlements, should he become prime minister. It is widely believed that the Trump peace plan would allow Israel to retain the settlements.

Lynk holds that settlement activity is a war crime. Both he and the UN support a two-state solution at the pre-1967 lines, a move that would have to include the evacuation of some 130 settlements that are home to more than 430,000 Israelis.

Lynk said that any peace plan put forward by the United States must adhere to international law, a move which he holds would make it impossible for it to include the settlements.

In a report he presented to the UN in New York last week, and in his Thursday press conference, Lynk said that international pressure is the best way to halt settlement activity and force an Israeli withdrawal to the pre-1967 lines.

In particular, he said, the international community and the UN must ensure compliance, particularly with the 30 to 35 UN Security Council resolutions, that have been approved with regard to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict since 1967.

The international community has long promised to hold Israel to account and it has the power to do so, Lynk said.

The starting point for compliance is a “complete ban on all goods and services produced in whole or in part [in] the illegal Israeli settlements in the West Bank and east Jerusalem from entering the international market,” Lynk said.

Secondly, he called on the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet, to complete her database of businesses operating over the Green Line, which her office has worked on since 2016.

This database could become a template for other global conflicts, he said.

Should those mild measures not work, Lynk said, harsher measures could be employed, such as an arms embargo, travel bans and international arrest warrants. Countries or entities, such as the European Union and the UN, could refuse to ratify agreements with Israel until it ended its settlement enterprise, he said.

The UN General Assembly could ask the International Court of Justice at The Hague for an advisory opinion on the “legality of the occupation,” Lynk said.

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Netanyahu Tells Israeli President He Gives up on Forming Gov't

His failure to form a government comes just weeks after the country had its second snap general elections this year after Bibi had already failed to form a government. 

 Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Monday he was giving up his effort to form a new government after failing to secure a majority coalition in parliament following an inconclusive election in September.

Netanyahu, who heads the right-wing Likud party, said he was returning the mandate back to Israel's president, Reuven Rivlin after "working unceasingly ... to establish a broad unity government".

Rivlin said he will now hold consultations with the various political parties to tell them he intends to task Netanyahu's centrist rival Benny Gantz with the job of putting together a new government.

Gantz's Blue and White party was the largest to emerge from the Sept. 17 ballot, though he also has no clear path to a parliamentary majority. Should he also fail to bring in enough partners it would almost certainly lead to another general election, the third since April.

 
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Palestinian prisoners go on hunger strike to protest administrative detention

Ramallah, October 18 (RHC)-- Over 6000 Palestinian prisoners are languishing in Israeli jails. Hundreds of these inmates are held without any charge or trial under what’s known as administrative detention deemed illegal based on international law.  Now, six Palestinian prisoners are refusing food to protest the policy.  Among those six protesters there is Heba al-Labadi, a Palestinian-Jordanian national who has been on a hunger strike for over three weeks. 

Among other detainees protesting their unlawful incarceration and the horrific conditions in Israeli prisons, there’s Ahmed Ghannam, who began his hunger strike in July. Human rights groups say Israel should either prosecute those prisoners or release them.  But Tel Aviv insists that they were arrested on secret reports which are inaccessible to prisoners and their lawyers.

Experts say Israel uses the policy of administrative detention to silence the voices of Palestinians but lacks any concrete evidence that could be presented in an open, military court. Palestinians say administrative detention is a whole other level of injustice. 

Israel’s administrative detention law allows it to imprison Palestinians for renewable periods without trial or charge.  Administrative inmates in Israeli jails say going on hunger strike is one of their few options to make their voice heard and to force Tel Aviv end this illegal policy. 

Several Palestinian prisoners have gone on hunger strike in recent months over Israel’s administrative detention.

Edited by Ed Newman

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Cuba condemns Israel’s plan to annex Jordan Valley

Cuba voiced concern over the latest developments in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, with the announcement by Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, to apply Israeli sovereignty to the Jordan Valley and the north of the Dead Sea in the occupied West Bank.

In a statement, Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs, Anayansi Rodriguez Camejo said that the action elicits the island’s strongest condemnation as it constitutes another serious violation of international law and of the purposes and principles of the UN Charter and threatens to stimulate a new escalation against the Palestinian people, nullifying the possibility of any international effort for peace.

The diplomat reiterated Cuba’s unrestricted support for a comprehensive, just and lasting solution to the Palestinian cause on the basis of the creation of two states, allowing Palestinians the right to self-determination and to an independent and sovereign state on the pre-1967 borders, with East Jerusalem as its capital.

In that regard, Vice minister Rodriguez called on the United Nations Security Council to fulfil its Charter responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security.

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Hezbollah chief says all Israeli forces at risk in case of new attack on Lebanon

Beirut, September 3 (RHC)-- The leader of the Lebanese Hezbollah movement has warned Israel against any future attacks on Lebanon saying that in case of such attack all Israeli forces will be at risk.

Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah made the remarks in a televised speech on Monday, saying that Sunday’s operation by Hezbollah fighters in which an armored Israeli vehicle was hit, was meant to send the message to Israel that “if you attack, then all your border and forces will be at risk.”

Hezbollah’s Sunday attack came in response to an Israeli air raid last week that killed two of its fighters in Syria, as well as an Israeli drone attack on southern Beirut, which saw the deployed aircraft crashing into the movement’s media offices.

According to the Lebanese resistance movement, the missiles launched from Lebanon destroyed an armored personnel carrier in Avivim, killing or wounding those inside it. The Israeli military, however, alleged the attack did not lead to any casualties while adding that it had fired 100 shells into Lebanon in return.

“We thank god [for this victory],” he said, and also expressed gratitude towards the group’s fighters and commanders, who spent eight consecutive days carrying out the operation.

Nasrallah added that the through the latest operation against the Israeli forces, the resistance group broke the "biggest red line" by targeting forces across the border and inside the occupied territories.

Further explaining the difference between the Sunday response and Hezbollah’s previous countermeasures against Israel, Nasrallah said the movement would previously only target Israelis inside the Shebaa Farms, which the regime has occupied from Lebanon since 1948.

The movement resorted to the reaction as it “does not want to squander the triumph it achieved [against Israel] during the 33-Day War,” Nasrallah said. He was pointing to a wholesale war the regime launched against Lebanon in 2006, after which it was forced to withdraw under pressure from Hezbollah’s surprising defensive maneuverability.

“[From now on,] mark September 1, 2019 (the date of the retaliation) as it coincides with the onset of a new stage in [our] support for Lebanon’s borders,” Nasrallah told Tel Aviv.

As a result of Hezbollah’s response, Israel has taken all of its forces and military vehicles away from Lebanon’s border, and stopped patrolling near the frontier. “The Zionists have deserted our frontlines, meaning they have beaten a retreat,” he said.

Earlier on Monday, the Arabic-language al-Manar satellite television station affiliated with the Lebanese Hezbollah resistance movement aired new footage of a recent attack on Israeli positions in the occupied territories.

The footage showed Hezbollah fighters firing two missiles at the Israeli military vehicle, sending it up in flames and apparently fully destroying it.   Nasrallah underlined that the operation came despite ongoing Tel Aviv threats, asserting that the warnings scare neither the movement, nor the Lebanese authorities.

“Israelis should know this that what happened was a result of [Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu’s folly,” Nasrallah stated.

Observers say the Israeli drone incursions into Lebanon, which coincided with the regime’s similar acts of aggression against Iraq and Syria, were a stunt ordered by Netanyahu to provoke retaliation from the targeted countries, thus upping the Israeli premier’s chances of victory in the upcoming elections by portraying Israel in a vulnerable light.

The Hezbollah chief also repeated his earlier warning that the group would be targeting Israeli drones potentially transgressing into the country’s airspace.

The retaliatory strike also served to avenge Hezbollah on the death of two of its members at the hands of Israel in Syria, where the group carries out counterterrorism operations at Damascus’ request, Nasrallah concluded.

Edited by Ed Newman
  • Published in World

Palestinians slam Netanyahu for pledging settlement annexation

Ramallah, September 3 (RHC)-- Palestinian leaders have slammed Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for pledging annexation of all illegal Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank. 

Nabil Abu Rudeineh, a spokesman for Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said that Nehru’s reiteration of annexation pledge was a  "continuation of attempts to create an unacceptable fait accompli."  He added that the move would "not lead to any peace, security or stability.”

The secretary-general of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) Saeb Erekat said, "Those who claim concern after every Israeli settlement announcement should face reality: Israel's PM is announcing further annexation of occupied territory.”

"Enough impunity: There's an international responsibility to impose sanctions on Israel after decades of systematic crimes," he added.

Netanyahu told an audience at West Bank settlement Sunday that he would annex all illegal settlements.  "With the help of God we will apply Jewish sovereignty to all communities, as part of the [biblical] Land of Israel, and as part of the state of Israel," he said. 

More than 400,000 Israelis live in the illegal settlements in West Bank and around 20,000 live in occupied East Jerusalem.   The prime minister’s comments come amid Israel’s elections due for Sept. 17. After elections in April, Netanyahu’s Likud Party could not secure enough support to form a government coalition and another snap election was called.

According to the polls, the prime minister is running in a very close race with his main rival Benny Gantz from the centrist Blue and White party.  In addition to that, his far-right Likud party needs to come out with a decisive lead in the ballot or Israeli President Reuven Rivlin might decide to appoint another candidate to form a ruling coalition.  It is in this context that he is seeking to draw support from the voters of the right-wing parties close to the influential settlement movement.

Edited by Ed Newman
  • Published in World
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