Bolivia's Evo Morales: 'The US Is An Interventionist State'

"The United States is the worst threat for world peace, human rights and Mother Earth," Bolivia's President Evo Morales said.

In response to the United States' withdrawal from the United Nations' human rights body, Bolivian President Evo Morales said the decision only confirms the United States is an "interventionist state."

RELATED: Bolivia's Morales, China's Xi Sign 'Strategic Partnership'

"By pulling out of the United Nations Human Rights Council, the United States confirms that it is an interventionist, coup-mongering state, and a violator of the people's right to life, especially of the poorest," Morales posted on Twitter. "It is an accomplice of Israel, that massacres civilians, and today incarcerates innocent children that cross its border."

U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley said on Tuesday that the United States will be withdrawing from the UNHCR, describing the organization as "hypocritical."

Other members of the council – including China, Russia and the United Kingdom – unanimously condemned the decision.

Morales also took to Twitter to condemn increasing U.S. unilateralism on the international stage: "The United States' abandonment of the Paris Accord, the Iran Nuclear Deal, the negotiation for a Global Pact on Migration, the Human Rights Council and the imposition of its embassy in Jerusalem confirms that the United States is the worst threat for world peace, human rights, and Mother Earth," Morales said.

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Brazil: Rapper Mano Brown Says Lula Is 'Only Solution'

Mano Brown, co-founder of Racionais MCs, says "social advances will continue" if Lula is reelected president.

Mano Brown, co-founder of the legendary underground Brazilian hip-hop collective Racionais MCs, has told Estadao newspaper that Brazil's only hope for a brighter future “is if Lula is elected president. That way, social advances will continue.”

RELATED: Brazil: Rapper Mano Brown Laments Right-Wing Turn in Fans

If Lula is not reelected for a third term in office, Brown predicts that the country will “turn into Mad Max. I witnessed the transformation of people during Lula's government.”

Brown went on to say that he's worried about the lost of rights achieved during the Workers' Party governments, which spanned Lula and Dilma Rousseff's presidencies encompassing over 13 years.

He also affirmed that in recent years the country has experienced a wave of low self-esteem and lack of hope. “Now, more than ever, people need to recoup their faith.”

Brown also weighed in on media outlets and politicians attempting to erase the enormous contribution in the struggle against racism and in favor of social inequality undertaken by the Workers' Party, according to Viomundo.

Earlier this year Brown stated "the mentality of periphery neighborhoods has changed...It's impossible to disassociate Racionais MCs from politics and where the country politically is now? The periphery has turned to the right. Rap has turned to the conservative right...The type of rap music produced back in the day has become moralistic religious rap, which doesn't tap into the revolution that needs to happen now."

Brown – along with fellow rappers Ice Blue, Edi Rock and DJ KL Jay – formed the Racionais MCs in 1988. The collective, all of whom hailed from Capao Redondo, a periphery neighborhood on Sao Paulo's south side, referred to themselves as "the four most dangerous Black men in Brazil."

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MERCOSUR will Discuss Cultural Agenda in Paraguay

Asuncion, Jun 6 (Prensa Latina) Ministers and authorities of Culture of the countries of the Southern Common Market (MERCOSUR) will meet from today in this capital to discuss and exchange ideas and projects in favor of cultural development in the region.

The organizers have scheduled for today and tomorrow the 46th Meeting of the Regional Coordinating Committee (RCC), while the main conclave of the meeting, the 43rd Meeting of Ministers and Authorities of Culture, will take place on Friday 8.

This MERCOSUR entity promotes the cultural rights of citizens, generating policies that promote social inclusion through actions which allow cultural enrichment.

It also promotes cooperation at the regional level, carrying out joint projects and programs in the different sectors, promoting the spread of knowledge of the values and traditions of the States Parties, as well as the dissemination of the artistic and cultural expressions of the bloc.

Paraguay received the Pro Tempore Presidency (PPT) of Mercosur Cultural during the 42nd Meeting of Ministers of Culture of the regional bloc, held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, at the end of 2017.

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Dismantling Unasur Would Be a 'Historical Error': Ex-Chief

Samper argued the regional integration body is more necessary today in the face of threats by 'foolish Donald Trump.' 

Ernesto Samper, the former secretary general of the Union of South American Nations (UNASUR), has warned that allowing the regional integration body to be dismantled or disappear would be a “historical error,” and would “weaken our countries when it is most needed to face the threats to the region and the world since the foolish Donald Trump presides over the United States.”  

ANALYSIS: How Lima Group Undermines Unasur's Regional Sovereignty Mission

Unasur entered a prolonged impasse in late April when six countries, all belonging to the United States aligned Lima Group, announced they were temporarily withdrawing from the South American integration body.

According to a joint letter sent to Bolivia, which holds the pro-tempore presidency of Unasur, the withdrawal was a response to the incapacity of Unasur countries to choose a secretary general since early 2017 when Samper, a former Colombian president (1994-1998), ended his term.

In an op-ed written for EFE, Samper detailed U.S. policies that threaten the region and said destroying Unasur will be akin to suicide.  

“Trump’s ‘axe of war’ contemplates the expulsion of Latino migrants who have lived in the United States for years; the construction of divisive walls in the border with Mexico; non-compliance with environmental regulation, that due to global warming increases the risk of natural disasters in the Caribbean; increasing taxes for our key exports; or questioning Colombia’s peace accords,” Samper explains.

RELATED: Ex-Unasur Chief: 'Aggressive' US Threatens Regional Integration 

“To disregard the joint response to such challenges is like jumping overboard when the storm rages,” Samper said.   

Despite the formal justification, some fear the intention is to dismantle Unasur. In a previous interview, Samper acknowledged the United States would prefer to have the Organization of American States as the only regional body.

The creation of Unasur did not only represent a regional body that excluded the U.S., but it also challenged U.S. military hegemony in the region.

The South American Defense Council “reiterated its commitment against foreign military bases in South America when former president Alvaro Uribe authorized the presence of several bases in the border between Colombia and Venezuela. Its implementation could’ve taken us to the brink of unseen levels of hemispheric conflict” Samper explained.

After presenting other Unasur accomplishments in the fields of migration, health, and education, Samper warned: “Lowering our guard against what has been achieved over the years, transforming what is now a space of integration into a field of controversy would be, as well as unforgivable, a serious historical error.”

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Nicolas Maduro Wins Venezuelan Presidential Elections

President and candidate Nicolas Maduro won the Sunday elections.

Nicolas Maduro won the Venezuelan presidential elections Sunday, gaining a second presidential term for six years with more than 5.8 million votes, the National Electoral Council (CNE) announced Sunday night.

With 92.6 percent of the votes counted, Maduro had 5.8 million votes, while his closest rival, former governor Henri Falcón getting 1.8 million votes, said CNE President Tibisay Lucena who added that in total, 8.6 million Venezuelans voted, out of an electoral registry of 20.5 million people.

"We are the force of history turned into popular victory," Maduro told his supporters after the CNE announcement. "Thank you to facing so many aggressions and lies, thank you for overcoming it, and for making me president of Venezuela for the next term."

The president further thanked the Venezuelan people for their support and voting him into a second term with 68 percent of the vote. "The people in Venezuela has to be respected."

As results came out, Maduro supporters let off fireworks in poor Caracas neighborhoods and danced to Latin pop around the downtown Miraflores presidential palace. He took 5.8 million votes, versus 1.8 for his nearest rival Henri Falcon, the board said.

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Argentine Opposition Warns of Crisis Amid Macri's Return to IMF

In 2001 an IMF-induced crisis left one in five Argentines without a job while people flooded the streets in protests that saw more than 20 people killed.

The block of deputies of the Peronist-Kirchnerist alliance Frente para la Victoria (Front for Victory) criticized the decision of the Argentine President Mauricio Macri to request a financing for US$30 billion from the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

RELATED: IMF to Argentina: Implement More Austerity, Privatization

"We demand from the Executive Branch that any possible agreement with the IMF, prior to its approval, be widely discussed in the National Congress, and nothing that the Fund [MF] wants to agree on has to be done behind the backs of the Argentine people," the block said in a statement.

"The decision on Tuesday means a serious setback. Within two and a half years of the Néstor Kirchner administration, Argentina canceled the debt with the IMF, 13 years later, two and a half years into the government of Mauricio Macri, [he] send us to the Fund.”

The lawmakers further warned that the IMF deals have always resulted to austerity measures and cuts to social programs.

"The agreements with the Fund have always been detrimental to our people, meaning cuts in salaries, retirements, privatizations, layoffs in the public sector and an increase in poverty among Argentines, leading the country to very deep economic and social crises," the statement added..

“The Fund” is the word used by many Argentines to refer to the IMF and carries negative connotations as many in the country associate the organization with crisis after several right-wing governments borrowed millions of dollars from it over the years. The most recent crisis was the country’s 2001 devaluation and US$100bn debt default.

The IMF-induced crisis left one in five Argentines without a job, while the country's peso, which was tied to the dollar at the time, lost two-thirds of its value and banks froze deposits. Protests engulfed the country in which at least 20 people were killed. In just two weeks, the country had five successive presidents.

That is why when President Néstor Kirchner paid off the IMF debt of almost US$10 billion in 2006, he celebrated it as a way for the country to regain its sovereignty. “With this payment, we are interring a significant part of an ignominious past,” Mr. Kirchner, who would die in 2010, said at the time.

The new IMF loan will include severe conditions, in case the government asks for funds to finance the deficit until 2019. Macri began negotiations with this body to obtain a loan to avoid a serious financial crisis in exchange for freezing retirements for two years and applying mass layoffs, according to the Argentine media El Destape.

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Brazil: 'I'm Calm, But Outraged,' Lula in 1st Letter Behind Bars

"I'm so grateful for your resistance,” former Brazilian President Luiz Inacio 'Lula' da Silva told his supporters.

Former Brazilian President Luiz Inacio 'Lula' da Silva has released his first public message since being imprisoned at the federal police headquarters in Curitiba, Parana over the past nine days. Addressing supporters through a letter delivered to the president of the Workers' Party encamped outside the prison walls Monday, he said “I've heard your songs. I'm so grateful for your resistance and presence in these acts of solidarity.”

RELATED: Brazil: 'Free Lula!' Protests Continue in Sao Paulo, Belo Horizonte

Speaking from his cell, Lula's lawyers continued writing his words. “I'm certain that it won't be long before justice will be worth its name. That is, whomever committed crimes will be punished. And those who did not committ a crime will be absolved. I continue to challenge the Federal Police involved in the Car Wash (investigations), the Public Prosecution involved int he Car Wash (investigations), (judge Sergio) Moro and those involved in my second conviction to prove the crime that they allege that I committed.”

Lula concluded that despite the judicial and mainstream media he has suffered prior to, during and after his conviction, he continues to believe in justice. “Hence, I'm calm, but outraged, as all innocent people are outraged when they are wronged. A big hug and thank you very much.”

The message was read by the Worker's Party President Gleisi Hoffman to Lula's supporters encamped in front of the federal police station in Curitiba.

Lula was sentenced to 12 years and one month in prison on corruption charges by Brazil's Fourth Regional Federal Court. The Supreme Court of Justice rejected two habeas corpus appeals submitted by his defense team.

Legal experts and observers attribute his case to a salacious media campaign coupled with 'lawfare,' where political foes use loopholes in the judicial system to their advantage, neutralizing their opponents.

Despite his conviction and imprisonment, Lula has topped every 2018 electoral poll conducted by Ibope, Vox Populi, Datafolha, Data Poder 360, Instituto Parana, the National Confederation of Transportation/MDA and Ipsos.

Lula's two terms in office were marked by a slew of social programs, lifting millions of Brazilians out of poverty and removing the country from the United Nations World Hunger Map. He left office with a record approval rating of 83 percent in 2011, according to Datafolha.

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Irregularities, Fraud Allegations Mark Colombian Elections

While some voting stations ran out of ballots, social media users also posted numerous videos showing alleged irregularities including vote buying.

Colombia's legislative elections and interparty primaries have created a stir in the South American nation, after major irregularities were reported by NGOs, candidates and social media users.

RELATED: Live Updates: Colombia Polls Close, Irregularities Reported 

The Electoral Observer Mission (OEM) – which had warned of the risk of fraud in hundreds of municipalities in the run-up to the elections –reported numerous inconsistencies as videos surfaced on social media appearing to show vote-buying and other fraudulent activities.

"Unauthorized information desks" had been set up in front of polling stations in various towns "with lists of voters and transportation ready to receive them," the OEM said. 

The OEM also highlighted the lack of accreditation "generating protests": at least 141 towns registered more voters than inhabitants, especially in the provinces of Antioquia, Boyaca and Santander. In addition, 30 percent of voters surveyed by the mission said they could not cast their ballots in secret.

@moecolombia #EleccionesColombia Balance de #ObservaciónMOE en el 30% de los cubículos destinados para que la gente vote no garantizaban que la votación se realizara de manera secreta. #PilasConElVoto 

The National Civil Registry said ballots had run out in Medellin, Cucuta and Manizales, but voters could use photocopies: "An agreement was reached with the political parties and movements, due to the budget restriction and they authorized the continuation of the procedure with photocopies," said Juan Carlos Galindo.

Other users on social media also posted numerous videos showing alleged irregularities including vote buying.

Presidential frontrunner, Gustavo Petro, repeated Sunday that electoral authorities failed to organize the process with transparency, complaining about the shortage of cards for registered voters.

"We already knew that the office of registration was not capable of transparency in the elections," he told reporters after casting his vote in the south of Bogota.

The former mayor of the capital was surrounded by almost 100 people shouting: "I came here because they did not pay for my vote."

"The jury in polling offices have systematically denied left-wing voters the registration card," Petro said, noting that the lack of transparency will affect the election of left-wing and right-wing coalition candidates alike.

3. Hiding Ballots:

Supporters of Gustavo Petro say the ballots for the primaries of the"Social inclusion for peace" were hidden from voters, leaving only those of the right-wing coalition available to voters.

@teleSURtv | Electorado colombiano denuncia por parte de la Registraduría en distintas regiones de la nación. Aquí se observa como los jurados esconden los tarjetones de la consulta

 @teleSURtv | Ciudadano colombiano denuncia que tarjetón de la Consulta de Inclusión Social para la paz era ocultada por algunos funcionarios en las mesas de votación

4. Not extending voting hours:

Despite all the irregularities that delayed the process, some voters had to leave without voting because of the lack of cards as polls closed at 4:00 p.m. local time.

@teleSURtv | "Fraude, fraude, fraude", fueron los cantos que se escucharon contra la Registraduría en distintos centros de votación de la nación

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