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United States condemns Venezuela’s government yet is complicit with human rights abuses across the Middle East

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United States condemns Venezuela's government yet is complicit with human rights abuses across the Middle East

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Written by Dr. Leon Tressell exclusively for SouthFront

“Americans have no idea of the extent of their government’s mischief… the number of military strikes we have made unprovoked, against other countries, since 1947 is more than 250.” Gore Vidal

Last Saturday U.S. Senator Marco Rubio, who is seen by many as being in charge of Trump’s policy towards Latin America, threatened Veneuela’s government with a military invasion for its numerous violations of human rights. The U.S. political elite is trying to exploit ordinary people’s disgust at alleged human right’s abuses to justify the potential invasion of another county.

Ordinary people taken in by humanitarian bombers such as Rubio need to be reminded that American loftiness over events in Venezuela stands in stark contrast to the indifference and complicity of the U.S. and its allies regarding human rights abuses in the Middle East.

Amnesty International has issued a new report,”Human Rights in the Middle East and North Africa: A review of 2018”. It reveals a grim picture of ruthless repression against civilian protestors, torture, and war crimes on a grand scale.

Saudi Arabia has been in the media spotlight since the murder of journalist Jamal Khosoggi in its Turkish embassy back in October 2018. Khasoggi’s murder by a Saudi hit squad provoked a global outcry yet the House of Saud dictatorship has not faced any punitive action from the United States. President Trump has made it clear that U.S. arms sales and military support for the Saudi’s genocidal war in Yemen will continue unabated.

Several European countries, such as Germany, Denmark, Netherlands, Norway and Finland, took the rare step of suspending arms sales to the Riyadh dictatorship and its UAE partner in crime. Yet major powers such as France and the UK continue to not only sell arms to the Gulf dictatorships but have even lobbied Germany to resume its arms sales again.

Heba Morayef who is Amnesty’s Regional Director for the Middle East and North Africa has commented:

“It took Jamal Khashoggi’s cold-blooded murder inside a consulate to prompt a handful of more responsible states to suspend arms transfers to a country that has been leading a coalition responsible for war crimes and has helped create a humanitarian catastrophe in Yemen. Yet even the global outcry over the Khashoggi case has not been followed by concrete action to ensure those responsible for his murder are brought to justice.”

On a domestic level Saudi Arabia continues to imprison human rights activists, government critics and women’s rights defenders. Many have been given lengthy prison sentences after being subjected to torture and grossly unfair trials that make a mockery of the term justice. Besides this, women and the Shia minority in Saudi Arabia continue to face systematic discrimination and violence. Freedom of expression and the right to peacefully protest offline and online are expressly forbidden.

Scores of government critics and human rights defenders are serving lengthy prison sentences. Meanwhile, the Saudi dictatorship routinely uses torture to obtain confessions, conducts grossly unfair secret mass trials and makes liberal use of death sentences to ‘crush dissent’. Saudi Arabia’s much vaunted reform allowing women the right to drive was somewhat diminished by the fact that many female activists who had campaigned for the right to drive remain in prison. Women still require the permission of a male guardian to seek employment, enrol in higher education, travel or marry.

On an international level Saudi Arabia and its coalition of the killing, that includes most of the Gulf dictatorships, continues to wage an illegal war in Yemen creating the worst humanitarian disaster in the world. The Saudi led coalition use weaponry supplied by the U.S., France and Britain to systematically destroy Yemen’s food infrastructure and its water irrigation systems along with the deliberate targeting of residential areas in towns and cities. To compound matters, the Saudi led coalition has imposed a land, sea and air blockade of Yemen which is a deliberate attempt to restrict humanitarian aid getting into the starving population. The Saudi led siege of the Red Sea port of Hodeidah is intensifying the famine that has enveloped the country.

The Amnesty report makes it clear that:

“Coalition [I.e.Saudi led] forces continued to be the main cause of civilian casualties, according to the UN. They committed with impunity serious violations of international human rights law and humanitarian law. They used imprecise munitions in some attacks, including large bombs with a wide impact that caused deaths and destruction beyond their immediate strike location.”

Besides this, Saudi led forces routinely use enforced disappearances, torture, secret prisons and other forms of ill-treatment that amount to ‘war crimes’.

Saudi Arabia along with the United States and France continue to supply military aid for internal repression to the military dictatorship currently ruling over the Arab world’s most populous nation Egypt. President Sisi who won 98% of the vote for his second term has presided over grossly unfair mass trials. Take for example, the mass trial that convicted 739 people for participation in the sit-in at Cairo’s Rabaa al-Adawiya Square on 14 August 2013. During the sit-in the army shot dead over 900 people. Sisi’s brand of justice led to 75 people being sentenced to death, 47 to 25 years in prison, and 612 to prison sentences ranging from five to 15 years. By the way over 22 children were convicted at this mass trial. In the same month another court upheld death sentences against 20 men.

Sisi has introduced laws that give the state total control over all forms of media, meanwhile his security services continue to use enforced disappearances against hundreds of people together with the routine use of torture to obtain ‘confessions’. Women and Egypt’s Christian minority face systematic discrimination and harassment on a daily basis.

The current crusade by the Trump regime to bring about the overthrew of Venezuela’s elected government, all in the name of defending human rights, resonates with many ill informed people. Perhaps, they should cast their minds back to 1945 when the American Empire was preparing for its domination of the post-war world.

In February 1945 at the Chapultepec (Mexico) Conference the United States laid down the basis for implementing the Monroe Doctrine in Latin America once World War 2 was over. The U.S. State Department was concerned that, “Latin Americans are convinced that the first beneficiaries of the development of a country’s resources should be the people of that country.” Chomsky has pointed out that for the United States such an idea was totally, “…unacceptable: the first beneficiaries must be US investors, while Latin America fulfils its service function.”

The next time we hear some corporate politician whining about human rights in Venezuela then we should remind ourselves of the quip once made by that great chronicler of American foreign policy William Blum. Blum observed that America’s deadliest export since 1945 has been democracy.

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  • verner

    crimes against humanity is the middle name of moronistan (aka usa) as long as there is a profit for the mic/deep state. dead civilians, dead children and ruined lives and crumbled infrastructures is a necessity if the profits of mic shall remain intact. take a look at the most well known weaponsmakers’ shares and dividends over the last say 15 years (yahoo will provide the information) and it is obvious where the winners in the stockmarket can be found.

    remember madeleine albright, who saw the death of 500000 iraqi children as a result of moronistan’s sanctions as acceptable.

  • purplelibraryguy

    Even if one wants to say, well, Latin America and the Middle East are far apart and the situations very different (which would be somewhat spurious anyway, but even if), the fact is that half the countries the US is allying itself with in the Lima group to target Venezuela are clearly less democratic and more into violating human rights than Venezuela. So like they’re standing beside Colombia, where there have been dozens of assassinations by government-linked paramilitaries of human rights activists, trade unionists, and left-of-centre politicians just in the last year. And they’re standing beside Honduras, where the election actually was stolen unlike Venezuela’s, lots of dissenters get murdered, and the government is ultimately the result of a coup. Hand in hand with those guys, they’re accusing Venezuela of having an illegitimate government (over an election they refused to send observers to despite being invited, but which the observers that did go said was free, fair and transparent) and violating human rights (by putting a dude in the slammer who called for and continued to back for months foreign-sponsored violent rioters with the express goal of violently overthrowing the government, who killed dozens of people, shot national guardsmen, made terrorist attacks on government buildings, and burned people alive in the public street). The dude in question has been treated with such kid gloves that he is currently not in jail as such, he’s under house arrest. If it was the US, or Canada, or Britain, he’d be sitting in solitary naked, probably for the rest of his life; if it was the folks the US is joining hands with to attack Venezuela, he’d be dead.

    In short, Venezuela abuses human rights less than most countries and far less than the countries teaming up with the US to denounce it. If the US actually gave a damn about any of that, they’d be instead teaming up with Venezuela to bring democracy to Honduras and end paramilitary violence in Colombia. But we all know that ain’t gonna happen any time soon.

    • Luke Hemmming

      I agree totally with what you say. You hit the proverbial nail on the head. But alas there seems to be nothing we can say or do that is going to change any of this and other things that happen around the world. I feel so helpless and so deflated. After watching this video … https://youtu.be/2aaDr6joUdc I now understand why this is so and why the world is the way it is and how humanity is just cattle and used by the ruling elite. We are hated by these bloodlines, they use us as slaves and dispose of those who are useless and non productive, ie, Africa, Middle East, Asia, and South America. Warning the video can be boring but in a nutshell it explains things that otherwise most of us didn’t undertsand why these things happen.

      • purplelibraryguy

        It’s a lot simpler than that, and more robust, to look at the structure of how the economy works. Secret conspiracies don’t last down the millennia; we can’t even get our kids to have the same values we do. Organizations fall apart, split, change their purposes, get hijacked by new people with their own ideas and interests. Nobody cares what the founder wanted once the founder is dead. What would Lincoln think about the current nature of the Republican party? Fifty, sixty years ago there were slightly-creepy fraternal orders all over the place, all these Elks and Eagles and Rotary old boys’ networks; now almost all of them are gone and people do their networking on Facebook and LinkedIn.

        But those who have the most and want even more all have the same economic levers to reach for to try to get it and find themselves with similar interests and moving in the same social strata. New money and old money have slightly different styles, but they all have an interest in reducing taxes on the rich, making tax evasion easy, making sure the lower orders can’t organize to get better wages, making sure their companies don’t have to pay for whatever damage they cause, making sure they can move their money anywhere they want on the globe and so on. They all have an interest in the majority not noticing they’re being fleeced, so they buy up the media and, sometimes subtly sometimes not so subtly, tell it what to say. New tech billionaires who had nothing to do with existing power structures before they made their piles end up doing the same stuff–not because some conspiracy got to them, just because they found themselves with the same interests and they’re in the same economy with the same obvious approaches to rigging it.

        Unfortunately that just makes it harder to stop. Only fundamental economic change can alter the nature of the game.

  • John Whitehot

    the hypocrisy of the US isn’t a new thing.

    In the 70-80ies, President Carter was talking about human rights in Eastern Europe, just at the same time when the CIA was organizing a bloody coup against the democratically elected President of Chile Salvador Allende and supporting the military junta of general Augusto Pinochet, which lasted for 17 years and caused tens of thousands of deaths among political adversaries, crimes against humanity and state terrorism.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human_rights_violations_in_Pinochet%27s_Chile

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YPSodbAq2v8

  • JPH

    No need to look that far. US complains about economic situation in Venezuela while stealing it blind through full scale economic warfare sold to the public as ‘sanctions’.

    Stealing billions and offering crumbs as ‘humanitarian aid’ that’s your US of Aggression.

  • Sinbad2

    This is what America wants nobody to see, they are Nazis and have always been Nazis, that’s why they are good friends with the Zionists, which are merely Jewish Nazis.
    https://russia-insider.com/sites/insider/files/styles/1200xauto/public/main_1500_2.jpg?itok=SsWmt-1C

    https://russia-insider.com/sites/insider/files/styles/1200xauto/public/bund_parade-1.jpg?itok=lTjvKxnz

  • Thunder

    trump i thought you understood my stance on this attempted coup u guys r trying to operate out there i suggest standing down sinigog of satan for i know that is who you serve trump and as you know i fckn hate em careful with this trump for it could be your downfall if you do