Russia Criticizes Pompeo's Statements against Iran at UN

The Deputy Permanent Representative of Russia to the United Nations, Dmitry Polyanskiy, this Wednesday criticized in the UN Security Council the statements of US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo against Iran and his belligerent rhetoric towards that country.

The Russian diplomat stressed that Pompeo's speech contained many negative words, and was 'punctuated with direct provocations and demeaning sanctions,' adding 'not once did you use the word dialogue.'

He noted that the US Secretary of State presented Iran as the sole source of problems in the Middle East, 'a kind of empire of evil, so to speak.'

Such discourse and increasingly hostile sanctions only lead to the risk of an armed confrontation, any incident could trigger a conflict and it is urgent that both parties tread softly, he emphasized.

Conflicts must be solved by diplomatic and political means, sanctions and threats must be set aside, the Russian diplomat said at the UN Security Council meeting dedicated to the situation in the Middle East.

Currently, the Middle East is facing serious crises, so it is critical to look back to understand all mistakes made in the past and avoid falling into them once again, he added.

The most important conclusion is that unilateral action of any kind does not bring us closer to solving problems in the Middle East, he stressed.

Some states are trying to impose themselves against others, beyond the law, and promote policies aimed at creating instability and removing governments that are not to their liking, the Russian representative said.

This has only generated greater risks and more bloodshed, he noted. Therefore, international efforts in terms of diplomatic initiatives are urgently required, to avoid interference in internal affairs and military interventions.

According to Maria Luiza Viotti, chef de Cabinet to the UN Secretary-General, the situation in the Middle East is complex and characterized by a great number of divisions and lengthy armed conflicts.

In recent weeks there have been a series of incidents in the Strait of Hormuz which have increased tensions to very dangerous levels, she said.

Therefore, she stressed the need to keep communication channels open, and bring the parties in conflict to the negotiating table.

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Russia, Cuba talk for political settlement in Venezuela

Russia and Cuba confirmed their position in favor of political settlement in Venezuela, Russia's foreign minister said on Thursday.

At a news conference following a meeting with his Cuban counterpart Bruno Rodriguez Parilla in Havana, Sergey Lavrov said the two countries were "actively" taking part in creating conditions to achieve an agreement between the Venezuelan government and opposition.

"We hope contacts, which stimulate direct dialogue between the government and the opposition, will develop in every possible way. I would like to stress once again that these should be contacts to promote dialogue, not contacts with a view of imposing the results of such a dialogue and predetermining its outcome," he said.

He also praised "exemplary" Russian-Cuban cooperation in the UN.

Addressing the current "down stage" in the U.S.-Cuban relations, Lavrov said Russia did not accept "colonial and neocolonial methods" in international affairs.

"Unfortunately, the mentality of colonial recidivism proved to be quite tenacious, including in the U.S.," he said, stressing that international law must be respected.


Russian Foreign ministry accuses BBC of spreading 'fake news'

Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova accused a BBC correspondent of spreading "fake news" following the news conference.

BBC reporter Will Grant referred to alleged remarks by Russian President Vladimir Putin that Moscow would fill the vacuum between North and Latin Americas if the U.S. did not participate in the regional affairs.

Maria Zakharova provided on the Foreign Ministry's official website the link to Putin's speech, accusing Grant of misinterpreting his words.

The question was about military cooperation and Putin said Russia was ready to deliver weapons to Venezuela and other Latin American countries if the U.S. banned arms sales.

"We regret the manipulation committed by the British journalist," the ministry said in a statement on its official website.

"If you're quoting leaders of states, no matter what is your attitude to them, try to be accurate," Sergey Lavrov said, responding to the reporter.

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Global response to Ebola underfunded: UN

Health officials are struggling to contain an Ebola epidemic in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).

The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared the outbreak an international public health emergency.

There are fears that the lack of leadership on the ground will lead to a greater crisis.

In 2014, the crisis was seen as a potential threat to international peace and security, and the UN Security Council met to discuss the situation. No such meetings are planned this time.

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Bachelet’s Report on Venezuela: Who Has the Last Word?

Does Bachelet’s report represent the last of many attempts of international "coup d’état" in Venezuela?  

Let’s not make a mistake. The report delivered on July 4 was and it’s thought to give full justification to the strategy of a two-party régime change like in the United States in Venezuela. It must be very convenient for the Democratic Party, the supposedly "progressive" wing of the North American political system that the report uses the speech of "human rights" and comes from an international institution, necessary condition to give its support to the politics of Trump.

Contrary to the previous international reasons, this is the first one to come from an official international organization, and not just any organization, but the UN. On July 6th, only two days after the publication of the report, Iván Duke, President of Colombia, took it as green light to continue the politics of Trump:

"I hope that now with this result of Michelle Bachelet's report, the Court (International Penal Court - IPC) can quickly, not just open the investigation, but acquire overwhelming evidence so that a trial is moved earlier and a dictator receives what he deserves for oppressing the Venezuelan people".

The battle grows up again! Latin America has been the stage of a large variety of strategies for régime change, including the parliamentary coups in Paraguay and Brazil, against Lugo and Dilma, as well as the law suit against Lula and his imprisonment under false accusations. The Cuban Revolution, resilient as always has been the target of régime change since 1959 mostly on the base of accusations of human rights violations, generously financed through "promotion-of-democracy programs."

Venezuela has been recently the target of three open coup d’état attempts, several sabotages to the electric network - a continuous economic and political war aimed at facilitating the coup d’états, accompanied by a propagandistic bombing on behalf of the international media corporations against President Maduro. Like sharks sensing blood in the water, Duke jumped immediately on this personal objective.

Does Bachelet’s report represent the last of many attempts of international "coup d’état" in Venezuela? Was this the first salvo of a new attempt, with the pretext of defending "human rights"? I believe so.

However, and luckily for Venezuela and the international left-wing, it’s possible we never know with certainty. The Bolivarian Revolution also saw the threat the same day that Bachelet made public her report. The reaction was swift and radical, a characteristic of Maduro’s government since the first of the recent coup d’état attempts, on January 23rd, 2019. Once again, the answer is an international politics of peace and negotiation combined with a vigorous defense of the Venezuelan sovereignty. Venezuela speaks clear, not feeling for a second intimidated by the aura of the “United Nations”.

The Bolivarian Revolution didn't see any green light, but the characteristic red color of Chavismo. On July 4th, the same day the infamous report was published, Maduro’s government refuted it in 70 points. On July 11th, the president also wrote a formal letter to Bachelet detailing the false accusations and deliberate omissions, asking her respectfully to rectify the report based on the facts.

This letter was accompanied by other declarations and reactions of Venezuelan personalities, and simultaneously the government summoned the people to express their opinions on July 13th.

People didn't need summoning. Ironically, the most important secondary effect in the current war directed by the United States against Venezuela has been, and still is, the peak of political awareness that Chavismo represents. It’s in fact this ideology, this political movement that the United States is trying to destroy. With this goal in mind, the U.S. is bent on getting the domestic oil, but also the elimination of the beacon that represents the Bolivarian Revolution Bolivarian, together with Cuba, in the international sphere, as examples of an alternative social system and type of government that withstands the United States.

On July 13, Venezuelans went out on the streets, not only in Caracas but in many domestic states. There aren’t official figures regarding the participation, but videos and pictures reveal that dozens of thousands of people attended, despite the heavy rains.

Judging by the improvised signs, and contrary to what most academics from the dominant trend think, many UN "human rights" officials, and practically all the media, the Venezuelan people has a very clear vision of the controversial matter of the human rights.

How can that be? Because popular classes, formerly "invisible", are at present impregnated of their own experience and collective memory, passed from generation to generation; they are deeply aware of the true meaning of human rights and they make it visible for the world to see - or ignore it deliberately.

In their declaration during the rally of July 13th in Caracas, Diosdado Cabello declared that Bachelet:

“She governed eight years in Chile with the Constitution of a genocide, of a true dictator", in reference to the inherited Magna Carta of the civic-military dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet. What did she do in those eight years? She did absolutely nothing to change the Constitution. She used that Constitution to repress the Mapuche people, to persecute students in that country. Yes, that same lady who came here to speak about human rights in Venezuela."

And what finally happened with this "coup d’état" attempt based on "human rights"? Was it interrupted even before it begun? It seems likely, for the time being.

Popular classes and their dedicated leaders are not in no way constrained by the concept of human rights based on the North American unique king of thinking. The perspective and ideology are decisive. In fact, it’s a matter of life or death. Once corrupted by the dominant conception of human rights, in a crucial moment, either deliberately or by the force of circumstances and the career objectives, it explodes.

See the Bachelet: In the moment the United States need the most to resuscitate its failed politics, she jumps to the throat. The other lesson that needs to be learnt of this "Third Way" of academic and politicians is that, sooner or later, we see that the "alternative" is not an alternative to the status quo, but a cruel and cynic alternative to the left-wing.

But the Venezuelan people has the last word.

Cuba Works on Draft Resolution on Right to Peace

Cuba is pushing a draft resolution on the right to peace at the UN Human Rights Council, Bruno Rodriguez, Head of the Cuban Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Minrex), said in Havana on Tuesday.

Rodriguez said in Twitter that facing unilateralism, aggression and meddling, the only guarantee for the promotion and protection of human rights for all is the defense of the people' right to peace.

Rodolfo Reyes, Director General of Multilateral Affairs and International Law of the Minrex, also in Twitter asserted the enjoyment of the full right to peace is an essential factor in achieving development and global sustainability.

He added that at the 41st session of the Human Rights Council, Cuba evokes the Proclamation of Latin America and the Caribbean as a Zone of Peace and once again becomes a voice for the most just causes.

The UN Human Rights Council has been meeting in Geneva since June 24 and will be extended to July 12.

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UN expert says Bachelet report on Venezuela is fundamentally flawed

International human rights law expert and former consultant to the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), Alfred de Zayas, says Michelle Bachelet's report on Venezuela released earlier this week is, "unfortunately, unbalanced and does not draw conclusions that can help the suffering Venezuelan people."  He said the real and most urgent remedy for Venezuela is to immediately lift United States sanctions on the nation.

Zayas, a leading expert on human rights and international law and a signatory of several guiding United Nations declarations on human rights and peace, tweeted Friday that the report by current High Commissioner for Human Rights, Bachelet, “should have clearly condemned the violence by extreme right opposition leaders and the calls for foreign intervention #Venezuela.”

Instead, Zayas emphasizes, the report “is fundamentally flawed and disappointing,” and the visit proved to be a “missed opportunity” to open up UN channels with the Venezuelan government that “has requested and needs advisory services and technical assistance, but in good faith,” wrote the expert on his personal webpage Friday.

Zayas went to say on his site that the “report should also have focussed on the criminality of the repeated attempts at a coup d’etat (in Venezuela because) there is nothing more undemocratic than a coup.”

During Bachelet's official visit to Venezuela in June, the commissioner heard the personal testimonies of victims of opposition violence and received 123 documented cases of citizens who were lynched, beheaded and killed by them in protests of 2013, 2014 and 2017.  The commissioner, who is the ex-president of Chile, had promised to incorporate them in her report, but they didn’t make the final cut.

Zayas remarked that "the fundamental principle that guides any honest researcher is to audit all the parties, all sides must be heard. … It is unprofessional for the UN staff to ignore or not give appropriate weight to the submissions by Fundalatin, Grupo Sures, the Red Nacional de Derechos Humanos, and the specific answers provided by the government," but these voices were left out of the final product.

Zayas, a Harvard Law School graduate, said the report "pays little attention to the central problem: the financial blockade and the sanctions that cause so much suffering and death."

“If responsibility to protect means anything, it means that the international community must protect the Venezuelan people from United States sanctions, and make its rejection of unilateral coercive measures felt #Venezuela,” tweeted the expert Friday.

“United Nations support to the people of Venezuela is urgently needed.  The international community must find a way to force the United States to lift the criminal sanctions #Venezuela,” concluded the expert.

An April report by the Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR), co-authored by Jeffrey Sachs, concludes that U.S. sanctions on Venezuela have led directly to the deaths of over 40,000 residents unable to receive imported medicines, equipment, or foods.

“The sanctions are depriving Venezuelans of lifesaving medicines, medical equipment, food and other essential imports,” said Mark Weisbrot, the CEPR Co-Director and co-author of the report. “This is illegal under international laws and treaties that the U.S. has signed. Congress should move to stop it.”

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Cuban Chancellor Receives the FAO General Director

The Cuban Foreign Minister, Bruno Rodriguez, received today the General Director of the United Nations Organization for Food and Agriculture (FAO), José Graziano da Silva, who is visiting the Caribbean country.

At the meeting they ratified the healthy state of the historical relations of cooperation between this organization and Cuba, sad Rodríguez in his Twitter account.

They also approached the common interest of strengthening them, explained the Cuban Minister of Foreign Affairs.

Da Silva attended yesterday the closing ceremony of the VII Continental Congress of the Latin American Coordination of Rural Organizations (CLOC Vía Campesina), which held session at Artemisa province.

A press release from FAO headquarters in Cuba stated that the Brazilian visitor culminates on July 31 his second term as General Director of the United Nations agency.

He recently acknowledged that Cuba is one of the 16 countries worldwide that have already reached the goal of the World Food Summit to halve the absolute number of hungry people.

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UN chief warns Paris climate goals still not enough

U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has taken his message urging immediate climate action to officials gathered in the United Arab Emirates, where production of hydrocarbons remains a key driver of the economy.

Guterres is calling on governments to stop building new coal plants by 2020, cut greenhouse emissions by 45% over the next decade and replace fossil-fuel driven economies. He warned of a "grave climate emergency" in remarks at a summit in Abu Dhabi on Sunday.

He lauded the Paris climate accord, but says even if its promises are fully met, the world still faces what he describes as a catastrophic three-degree temperature rise by the end of the century.

Under President Donald Trump, the U.S. has announced its withdrawal, effective next year, from the Paris agreement.

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