Time to assassinate Syrian President Assad & get to his allies in Iran – Israeli minister

An Israeli minister has bluntly called for Syrian leader Bashar Assad to be assassinated after unsourced media reports claimed Damascus was using a “crematorium” to cover-up mass killings. He said the “serpent’s head” in Tehran should be dealt with next.

“The reality whereby Syria executes people, intentionally uses chemical weapons to hurt them and, now, in the most recent move of extremism, is burning their bodies – this has not been seen in the world in 70 years,” said Israeli Housing Minister Yoav Galant, as cited by Haaretz. 

 
© Kacper Pempel

“We are crossing a red line and, in my view, the time has come to assassinate Assad,” he continued.

“And when we finish with the tail of the serpent, we will reach the head of the serpent, which can be found in Tehran, and we will deal with it, too,” he said.

What appears to be the first recorded Israeli threat to assassinate Syrian President Bashar Assad came after the US Department of State alleged, without presenting any hard evidence, that the Syrian government is using “a crematorium” outside Damascus to burn the bodies of people killed by the government.

Earlier on Tuesday, Galant told Israeli Army Radio that Assad’s rule has been the worst since Nazi Germany. “What is happening in Syria is defined as genocide, under all its classifications,” he said on Army Radio, according to Jerusalem Post.

Galant, a retired IDF general, added that Israel wants to see Assad and his Alawite government ousted from power and replaced by a “moderate Sunni ruler.”

READ MORE: More Arabs view Israel positively than Jews, poll reveals

Some previous attempts to compare Assad’s government to the Nazi regime have been met with public outcry. White House spokesman Sean Spicer, who claimed that Hitler’s death squads hadn’t used chemical agents during the Holocaust “in the way that Assad used them” sparked outrage in the US and beyond.

Certain journalists have used the Assad-Hitler comparison when covering claims that Syrian forces have used chemical weapons, but those remarks were dismissed by the public.

Assad, a UK-educated doctor, has been in power since the 1999 passing of his father, Syria’s long-time president, Hafez Assad. Syria is one of the few Arab countries where the president is elected through a nationwide vote.

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Anti-Russia spin pushed by those who lost US election & can't face reality – Putin to Le Figaro

A powerful bureaucracy is preventing US presidents from making changes, Vladimir Putin told Le Figaro, saying he’s not surprised Donald Trump hasn’t restored relations with Moscow amid a power struggle – just as Obama failed to shut down Guantanamo.

Despite early signals from the Trump administration that it would not mind improving relations with Russia, which seemed to hit rock bottom during the last months of the Obama presidency, Moscow “had no special expectations” with regards to the new US President Trump, the Russian leader said in an interview to be published in full Wednesday.

READ FULL VERSION of Putin’s interview

 
Russian President Vladimir Putin © Sergey Guneev

While US presidents “come and go,” its political landscape is hardly prone to changes, Putin said, noting that the incumbent US leader “is steering a traditional US policy.”

This political invariability can be ascribed to the sprawling US bureaucratic machine, which imposes rigid constraints on every neophyte leader as soon as he rises to power, Putin argued.

“When a person is elected, they may have some ideas. Then people with briefcases arrive, well dressed, wearing dark suits… These people start explaining how things are done. And instantly, everything changes,” Putin elaborated, noting that no administration is able to escape this trap, which significantly narrows its room for maneuver.

READ MORE: ‘Reading US papers is dangerous’: Moscow ridicules report that Trump shared secrets with Russian FM

Putin argued that former US President Obama also fell victim to the system as he was not able to deliver on his pre-election promise to close the infamous Guantanamo Bay prison. Describing Obama as a “forward-thinking man,” Putin said that he has no doubt that Obama genuinely wanted to follow through his pledge, but failed even though the controversial Cuban prison was known primarily for torture and a practice of unlawful detentions.

“Can you imagine France or Russia acting this way? This would have been a disaster. But it is possible in the United States and continues to this day,” Putin said, referring to widespread and well-documented human rights abuses in the prison.

The Russian president said Moscow still hopes for a political normalization with Washington, but is in “no hurry” and “ready to wait” until the anti-Russian hysteria, fueled by the defeated party which seeks to shift the blame for its own loss on Russia, subsides.

“That said, I am cautiously optimistic, and I think that we can and should be able to reach agreements on key issues,” he said.

Criticizing the increase in NATO military spending and its build-up on Russia’s doorstep, Putin nevertheless noted that Trump showed a “pragmatic and understandable approach” when he demanded from other NATO member states to share the financial burden of common defense with the US.

READ MORE: ‘Turn for the worse’: Russian envoy blasts NATO’s latest steps in Europe

 
The West Wing White House in Washington, US © Jonathan Ernst

Dismissing allegations of Russian meddling in the US and French presidential elections, Putin argued that claims that Moscow was behind the hacks of the Democratic National Committee emails have not been supported by evidence. He added that it does not take much effort to cover up the source of the attack for the purpose of making Moscow a scapegoat.

“As President Trump once said, and I think that he was totally right when he said it could have been someone sitting on their bed or somebody intentionally inserted a flash drive with the name of a Russian national, or something like that,” Putin said.

The Russian leader believes that essence of the problem lies not in the Moscow’s perceived interference in the electoral process, but in the unwillingness of those who were stunned by the defeat in the November elections to take responsibility for their poor performance.

READ MORE: Fox News host speaks Russian on air in outburst to ‘potential Russian overlords’

“They are absolutely reluctant to admit this, and prefer deluding themselves and others into thinking it was not their fault, that their policy was correct, they did all the right things, but someone from the outside thwarted them. But it was not so. They just lost and they have to admit it,” Putin said.

Apparently, Trump turned out to be “closer to the people and better understood what ordinary voters want,” Putin said, suggesting that the Democrats need to put up with the fact and adding that when those drop this mindset “it will be easier for us to work [with the US].”

While there is no timeline for when such a turnaround will happen, Putin believes that this phase in US-Russia relations, during which Russia is being dragged into US internal policy, is temporary.

“The fact that this is being done using anti-Russia tools is not good, as it brings discord into international affairs,” Putin said. “But it will pass, everything passes, and this will pass as well.”

READ MORE: Lavrov: Trump admin are business people, dialogue free from ideological bias

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A "male prostitute" at OAS: Luis Almagro

Washington and its Organization of American States (OAS) show Venezuela as hell, while silencing the Brazilian debacle.

Thus published on Thursday The New York Times in a report by journalists Simon Romero and Dom Phillips.

They wrote from Rio de Janeiro that President Michel Temer, besieged by the complex situation of the country, deployed Wednesday federal troops in the capital, Brasilia.

Previously, they said that hundreds of protesters had clashed with the security forces, with people injured, beaten and detained.

Afterwards, Brazilian Defense Minister Raul Jugmann assured that when Temer ordered street patrols, he only tried to “restore order”.

Journalists Romero and Phillips added that the protesters set fire to the Agriculture Ministry and other government offices were looted.

According to estimates by regional officials, the newspaper indicated that around 35,000 people participated in Wednesday’s protests in Rio de Janeiro alone.

"A protest that should have been peaceful deteriorated into violence, vandalism and disrespect”, Jungmann said.

For their part, Romero and Phillips recalled that the use of the armed forces Brazil is something very sensitive for those who hate the military dictatorship that ruled the country from 1964 to 1985. Historical brutal scenario where thousands of Brazilians were detained, tortured, murdered and disappeared.

One of those victims was Dilma Rousseff, today’s former president who is seeing her enemies involved in corruption acts now. Tensions rise in Brazil, sped up by a scandal linked to Temer.

What happened? An entrepreneur recorded a dialogue with the latter, where he approved to pay bribes to buy silences and to obstruct anticorruption probes.

The disclosure of those recordings on May 18 prompted the collapse of Brazil’s financial markets, a probe against Temer and widespread calls for his resignation.

Victor Guimarães, a 26-year-old activist from the Landless Rural Workers’ Movement, said he was in front of Congress, when the police attacked them (protesters).

"The largest contingent of the protest hadn’t reached the place yet, and even so, they shot grenades, tear gas and rubber bullets”, he added.

"The police wanted to expel everyone from the esplanade", assured Guimarães, who was hit on the head by a bullet.

The report by Romero and Phillips added that "Temer has also been accused of receiving millions of dollars in bribes and illegal payments".

Meanwhile, scholars specializing in the history of Brazil bet that tensions will continue there.

However, important US outlets do not dedicate the same space, continuity or language, when they publish them.

What would happen, for example, should Venezuela’s armed forces take the streets of its main cities, as it happened in Rio de Janeiro?

Something that, of course, has deserved no word of rejection from the illustrious Secretary General of the OAS, Luis Almagro.

                                                               

Translated by Jorge Mesa Benjamin / CubaSi Translation Staff






A "male prostitute" at OAS: Luis Almagro

Washington and its Organization of American States (OAS) show Venezuela as hell, while silencing the Brazilian debacle.

Thus published on Thursday The New York Times in a report by journalists Simon Romero and Dom Phillips.

They wrote from Rio de Janeiro that President Michel Temer, besieged by the complex situation of the country, deployed Wednesday federal troops in the capital, Brasilia.

Previously, they said that hundreds of protesters had clashed with the security forces, with people injured, beaten and detained.

Afterwards, Brazilian Defense Minister Raul Jugmann assured that when Temer ordered street patrols, he only tried to “restore order”.

Journalists Romero and Phillips added that the protesters set fire to the Agriculture Ministry and other government offices were looted.

According to estimates by regional officials, the newspaper indicated that around 35,000 people participated in Wednesday’s protests in Rio de Janeiro alone.

"A protest that should have been peaceful deteriorated into violence, vandalism and disrespect”, Jungmann said.

For their part, Romero and Phillips recalled that the use of the armed forces Brazil is something very sensitive for those who hate the military dictatorship that ruled the country from 1964 to 1985. Historical brutal scenario where thousands of Brazilians were detained, tortured, murdered and disappeared.

One of those victims was Dilma Rousseff, today’s former president who is seeing her enemies involved in corruption acts now. Tensions rise in Brazil, sped up by a scandal linked to Temer.

What happened? An entrepreneur recorded a dialogue with the latter, where he approved to pay bribes to buy silences and to obstruct anticorruption probes.

The disclosure of those recordings on May 18 prompted the collapse of Brazil’s financial markets, a probe against Temer and widespread calls for his resignation.

Victor Guimarães, a 26-year-old activist from the Landless Rural Workers’ Movement, said he was in front of Congress, when the police attacked them (protesters).

"The largest contingent of the protest hadn’t reached the place yet, and even so, they shot grenades, tear gas and rubber bullets”, he added.

"The police wanted to expel everyone from the esplanade", assured Guimarães, who was hit on the head by a bullet.

The report by Romero and Phillips added that "Temer has also been accused of receiving millions of dollars in bribes and illegal payments".

Meanwhile, scholars specializing in the history of Brazil bet that tensions will continue there.

However, important US outlets do not dedicate the same space, continuity or language, when they publish them.

What would happen, for example, should Venezuela’s armed forces take the streets of its main cities, as it happened in Rio de Janeiro?

Something that, of course, has deserved no word of rejection from the illustrious Secretary General of the OAS, Luis Almagro.

                                                               

Translated by Jorge Mesa Benjamin / CubaSi Translation Staff






Bolivia's Evo Morales Says Racism a Tool for World Domination

Morales warned against the perils of racism, referring to the state of ignorance, turned economic and institutional apparatus, as a tool of domination.

"Racism is one of the instruments of domination, subjugation, and humiliation, not only in Bolivia but throughout the world," said President Evo Morales.

RELATED: Bolivia's Evo Morales Criticizes How the OAS is Manipulated

A member of the Aymara nation, and the first Indigenous president of Bolivia, Morales was speaking at the Fifth Session of the Ibero-American Network Against Discrimination in the city of Santa Cruz.

During his speech Morales warned against the dangers of racism, referring to the state of ignorance, turned economic and institutional apparatus, as a weapon of domination. He added that what is needed to free Pachamama from the scourge of racism was a “plurinational planet.”

"Like here, in Bolivia, the cost was hefty. We suffered a lot in 2006, 2007, 2008, to form a plurinational state. Our goal should be, our desire should be, to develop a plurinational America, a plurinational planet, and not only a plurinational state of Bolivia because our people are so diverse around the world," Morales emphasized.

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The Bolivian president said that approving measures against racism is simple, but difficult to implement and enforce.

He suggested taking counsel from young people to achieve a more just society, free of racism and discrimination.

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US & Saudi Arabia say it's necessary to maintain Syria whole & united – White House

The Syrian conflict must be solved through political means with the country’s unity and territorial integrity maintained, the US and Saudi Arabia has said in a joint statement released by the White House on Tuesday.

Washington and Riyadh “emphasized the importance of reaching a permanent solution to the conflict in Syria based on the Geneva declaration and Security Council resolution 2254, in order to maintain the unity and integrity of Syrian territory,” the statement read.

 
U.S. President Donald Trump, Saudi Arabia's King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, and arab leaders pose for a photo during Arab-Islamic-American Summit in Riyadh © Jonathan Ernst

The announcement, which summed up the discussions of US President Donald Trump’s visit to Saudi Arabia last weekend, said that after the end of hostilities, Syria must become “a country that represents the entire spectrum of the Syrian community and free from sectarian discrimination.”

The Geneva II Communique (2014) and UNSC resolution 2254 (2015) envisages a roadmap for a political solution of the Syrian conflict, urging a ceasefire, transitional government and free elections in the country.

Saudi Arabia has also backed “President Trump’s decision to launch missiles at Shayrat Airbase” Tuesday's statement said further.

The US President ordered a barrage of Tomahawk missiles fired at Syria’s Shayrat airbase in response to an alleged chemical attack in the town of Khan Shaykhun in the country’s Idlib province on April 4. Washington immediately labeled Bashar Assad’s government as the perpetrators of the attack despite Russia calling for an impartial investigation and Syria denying the charge.

“The two sides emphasized the importance that the Syrian regime adhere to the 2013 agreement to eliminate its entire stockpile of chemical weapons,” the statement read.

During Trump’s visit to the Gulf kingdom, the US President and King Salman ”agreed to boost cooperation in order to to eliminate Daesh, al-Qaeda, and other terrorist organizations,” the statement also said.

“The two leaders also reaffirmed their commitment to curb the flow of foreign fighters and cutting off funding supplies for terrorist organizations.”

Saudi Arabia had previously been blamed for backing extremists in Syria, with Hillary Clinton’s leaked emails saying the Saudis are “providing clandestine financial and logistic support to ISIL and other radical Sunni groups.”

READ MORE: Trump strikes arms deal with Saudis worth $350bn, $110bn to take effect immediately

The US has provided weapons to the so-called “moderate” rebels fighting the Syrian government with the arms often ending up in the hands of Islamic State or the al-Qaeda offshoot, Jabhat al-Nusra.

Washington and Riyadh also supported the Iraqi government’s efforts to tackle the Islamic State (IS, Daesh, formerly ISIS/ISIL) terrorist group while underlining the importance of “preserving the unity and integrity of Iraqi territory.”

Trump and the Saudi monarch then turned on Iran, saying they need to “contain Iran’s malign interference in the internal affairs of other states, instigation of sectarian strife, support of terrorism and armed proxies, and efforts to destabilize the countries in the region.”

READ MORE: US changes tactics against ISIS, working on plan with 'enthusiastic' Russians

They also said “the nuclear agreement with Iran (signed under the Obama administration) needs to be re-examined in some of its clauses,” the statement read.

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Venezuela Slams Colombia for Provocative Border Occupation

Less than two months ago, on March 31, Colombia security officials were gathered near the Simón Bolívar International Bridge in Cúcuta.

On Sunday, the Government of Venezuela expressed displeasure with what it viewed as an antagonistic stance taken by Colombian security forces, who posted near the Paraguachón region of La Guajira.

RELATED: Despite Police Attacks, Colombia's Civil Strike Continues

Armored combat vehicles occupied space only a few meters from their shared border. The Venezuelan government viewed this as a provocative move on the part of the Colombian State.

According to a statement from the authorities, this is not the first seemingly aggressive action by the Colombians. Less than two months ago, on March 31, Colombia security officials were gathered near the Simón Bolívar International Bridge in Cúcuta.

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The statement also pointed out that, recently, top Colombia officials have made false declarations that migrants from Venezuela to Colombia are committing acts of large-scale violence. "The provocation aims to divert attention from the political and social crisis in the Valle del Cauca, Buenaventura," the statement explained.

The Venezuelan government has warned the international community about the threat to the peace accords signed in 2016. The officials fingered their neighbor's actions as an aim to undermine international peace initiative that contributed to ending a war that had ravaged the region for decades.

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