US Ignores Saudi Beheading of 14 Activists, Labels Venezuela Dictatorship Despite Elections

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Written by Carey Wedler; Originally appeared at TheAntiMedia.org

This week, the Trump administration condemned the Venezuelan government following the country’s recent election. But as the U.S. imposes sanctions on Venezuela and vocally decries their lack of democracy, President Trump’s outrage is all but nonexistent as a U.S. ally preparing to behead 14 students for protesting. Though the Venezuelan regime is undoubtedly corrupt, the president’s outrage is meaningless in light of his lack of concern for the victims of U.S. allies.

US Ignores Saudi Beheading of 14 Activists, Labels Venezuela Dictatorship Despite Elections

In June of last year, Saudi Arabia’s Specialized Criminal Court ordered the beheadings of 14 young people they convicted of waging an armed rebellion against the regime during pro-democracy protests in 2011 and 2012. Amnesty International summarized the charges against them:

“They were convicted of a range of charges that included ‘armed rebellion against the ruler’ by, among other things ‘participating in shooting at security personnel, security vehicles,’ ‘preparing and using Molotov Cocktail bombs,’ ‘theft and armed robbery’ and ‘inciting chaos, organizing and participating in riots.’”

However, both Amnesty International and Reprieve, another human rights organization, assert that according to court documents, these convictions were largely based on confessions extracted through torture. The beheadings were finalized this month, and the SCC failed to investigate the defendants’ claims they were forced to confess.

The demonstrators were recently moved to a Saudi prison in Riyadh where individuals awaiting execution are housed. One of those individuals is a Saudi student who was on his way to study at Western Michigan University in 2012 when he was intercepted at a Saudi airport in 2012 and held for years before trial. Multiple entities have intervened on his behalf, specifically.  Mujtaba’a al-Sweikat is partially deaf and partially blind and attended protests against the monarchy in 2011 and 2012.

This upcoming slew of executions is not isolated. According to Reprieve, Saudi Arabia has already beheaded 57 people in 2017, and this has long been a popular form of punishment in the kingdom. Pro-democracy dissenters have also been sentenced to lashing and crucifixion, though the latter punishment was waived in the case of a teenager who protested the regime around the same time as the 14 youths currently facing beheading.

The American Federation of Teachers has urged the White House to intervene on behalf of al-Sweikat, Janet Bass, from the organization’s media affairs division, told Anti-Media in an email that the Trump administration has not responded to their request, which they issued on July 15. AFT has also requested a meeting with the Saudi ambassador to the U.S.

Thus far, Trump has not publicly commented on al-Sweikat’s case. Anti-Media has also reached out to Michigan Representative Jon Hoadley — who has also pushed for action from the White House — for an update on a response from the Trump administration. “Any government that stands idly by while a young man loses his life in such a barbaric and arcane way, for no real crime, is complicit in his death,” Hoadley said earlier this month. We will update this article if and when we receive a response from Hoadley’s office.

Despite his previous campaign rhetoric against Saudi Arabia, Trump has strengthened ties with the monarchy since taking office, abandoning criticism in order to form a purported partnership against terrorism (never mind that Saudi Arabia is deeply connected to fundamentalism, exports its radical ideology, and, according to leaked emails from former secretary of state Hillary Clinton, has funded ISIS).

Rather than hold the monarchy accountable for these actions, during a speech to Arab leaders in Riyadh in May, Trump said:

We are not here to lecture — we are not here to tell other people how to live, what to do, who to be, or how to worship. Instead, we are here to offer partnership — based on shared interests and values — to pursue a better future for us all.”At the same time Trump ignores these egregious human rights violations, the White House is claiming to champion freedom and democracy in Venezuela. According to national security adviser H.R. McMaster:

“Maduro is not just a bad leader. He is now a dictator. Recent actions culminating in yesterday’s seizure of absolute power through the sham election of the National Constituent Assembly represent a very serious blow to democracy in our hemisphere.”

The United States is now imposing sanctions on Venezuela, whose government is clearly violently suppressing protest and failing to meet the needs of its people. However, for the Trump administration to bemoan absolute power and cry “dictator” while openly supporting and arming a regime that embodies these exact same accusations is laughable at best and dangerously oppressive at worst.

Further, CIA director Mike Pompeo recently hinted that the CIA is seeking to involve itself in the current internal crises underway in the South American country (the CIA has a long history of toppling governments in Latin America and around the world).

Though the recent Venezuelan election received little participation from citizens, it’s worth noting that Saudi Arabia has no national elections. It is run by a monarchy and offers municipal elections to voters. Saudi Arabia just recently granted women the right to participate. Citizens of both countries are subject to oppressive control from their government, but the U.S. only seeks to condemn one of those regimes.

Supporting freedom and democracy, it seems, is only an American foreign policy priority when non-allies crush the rights of their people. As the U.S. ruling establishment continues to feign support for democracy and freedom, its selective application of these values demonstrates a commitment not to principle, but to power.

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  • Colin Oskapy

    The Americans taught the practice of beheadings to that part of the world. The Americans are the scum of Europe, after all.

  • Smrda

    It is sad that whole world will watch with enjoyment a suffering, hunger, unemployment, poverty and death of an ordinary American people when this evil empire’s peak days come to an end and start steep decline, like all empires did throughout the whole history (Mongol, Roman, Byzantine, British, Austro-Hungarian, Soviet…).
    It is sad because they, regular Americans, are all our fellow human brothers and sisters and no one on this planet, which is big enough for all of us, deserves it.
    But they attracted so much hatred of world population (which i personally don’t support) because of a handful of greedy frustrated, childhood traumatized sociopaths full of revenge, who rule them and inflicted so much pain and destruction to our other brothers all over the globe.
    There is a sentence that said “Be good to everyone you met when you are climbing to the top, because you will surely meet them all again when you start to fall down”. Sapienti Sat…

    • John Mason

      Stop electing them and as the US establishment goes into decline so does the population which is unfair to most of them.

    • Barba_Papa

      While there is much wrong with the Pax Americana, just as there was with the Pax Romana by the way, we may come to lament a collapse of the US, as it would mean much discomfort for the world. Economically as a lot of businesses and countries depend on the US for their exports. Politically, as it would mean that like with the collapse of the USSR, old tensions between former US allies that are now buried or frozen, would come to the forefront again. And some that are on the fringes of Russia would become the target of Russia again. It’s just plainly in Russia’s interests to have countries like the Baltics and Ukraine back in its sphere of influence again. Contrary to current anti-Russian hysteria Putin is much too sane to invade any of them, as it would bring Russia into conflict with the US, and thus WWIII. His hands would be much freer following a US collapse. Similarly in the Far East with China. And India too for that matter.

  • hvaiallverden

    Once again, when the MSM pimps something, how on earth is it then possible after all this “fake news” about Trumpyboy and then to swallow the propaganda about Venezuela with sink, line and hock, yeah, the whole shebang is recycled everywhere, incl so called alternative sites, where they hate anyone the Gov, wants them to hate.
    And the use of narratives, ugh….. it getting worse and worse, you think AGW is bad, when it comes to the use of political narratives, and meanings behind this, like the word socialism and democracy, they are just like functional an-alphabets, and idiot savants on the rest.
    To debate have almost no meaning at all, the indoctrination is so throughout its baffling.
    Yup, degenerated to be an heep of mere meat.
    Weaponized stupidity and doped the rest.
    Yeah, what could possibly go wrong, the uISISa is turning into an free range asylum, where the inmates runs the show, and on top of it, armed to their eyeballs, high on belief of their own exceptionalism.

    And this, of course will neither be shown in the NorDick SMSM as well, nope, not a word, and like the Orcs in Kiev witch is the friends of our Gov. whom whole-heartedly supports the scums, have the Saudis as an close and good friend, and sells weapons to them as well.
    Yeah, and in Norway they write the same propaganda as the rest of the MSM does, all bullshit, but never the less, by some weird coincident, believed to be true.

    To me, this reeks of Egypt, heroes and all, all to stage an coup.
    The scrap book is remarkable similar, almost 100% identical and obviously it still works.
    Tsk, tsk, tsk.

    peace

  • Ivanus59

    Venezuela is now turning into a Syria from 2010… USA again with it’s “peaceful democratic opposition” that resorts to terrorist attacks and it’s mobs lynch government supporters on the streets. Same propaganda machine that worked to justify the annihilation of Libya and works against Syria and many other anti-imperialist forces also has been working against Venezuela for the last decade and more and now they’re amplifying their efforts vs Venezuela by several times, obviously they’re going on an all out offensive against Venezuela now…

    • Solomon Krupacek

      this crize is due to former politics. no investition into light industry, into agricultue. venezuelans are laizy, they work only in production of children. they got what they deserve.

      • dutchnational

        Correct. For generations Venezuela had an economy based upon consumerism, not production.

        Travelled the country rather extensively years ago. The Andes mountains are beautiful Merida has a teleferico up to 4900 meters, wonderful view.

        Pity to see it all slide into poverty, a slide that started around 1983, when they first devalued the Bolivar.

      • gustavo

        Do not be fool. look the international reports about grow rate of latinoamérica countries. Venezuela annual grows is 4.5 %, meanwhile for example México is about 1.8 % averaged. Propaganda against Venezuela started since Hugo Chavez and will continue until USA destroy this no-neoliberal economy and put a poppet as a presidente.

  • Solomon Krupacek

    so russians, you had chance to help venezuela. you did naot, usa will take again another country. americans rule the world only therefore, that they have no real enemy.

  • Corruption is undoubtedly a serious offense but SLAVERY is greater

  • Weldon Cheek

    This is just de ja vue of all the other “crisis” that the US has seen fit to “fix”!we all know whats going to happen ,the writting is on the wall.